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25 J. Legal Stud. 201 (1996)


This article outlines three explanations for why states seek migrants and tests them by references to 1985-90 interstate migration flows. On race-for-the-top theories, states compete for value-increasing migrants by offering them healthy economies and efficient laws. On vote-seeking theories, states compete for clienteles of voters, with some states seeking to attract and some to deter welfare- or tax-loving migrants. On deadbeat theories, states compete for high human capital debtors by offering them a fresh start from out-of-state creditors. Our findings support vote-seeking and deadbeat theories.


Reprinted with permission of the Journal of Legal Studies.



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