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At the Lower End of the Table: Determinants of Poverty among Immigrants to Denmark and Sweden

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Author Info

  • Blume Jensen, Kræn

    ()
    (SFI - Danish National Centre for Social Research)

  • Gustafsson, Björn Anders

    ()
    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Pedersen, Peder J.

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Verner, Mette

    ()
    (Danish School of Media and Journalism)

Abstract

In this paper we study determinants of relative poverty among immigrants and natives in Denmark and Sweden during the 1980s and 1990s. Denmark and Sweden share the same properties in a range of labour market and welfare state characteristics. At the same time they differ very much in cyclical profiles and immigration experiences during recent decades. Both countries have followed the same principles regarding immigration policy, i.e. immigration from low income countries has been restricted to tied movers and refugees. We use 60 percent of the median in the distribution of equivalent disposable as poverty line. Data comes from two large panels based on administrative data. We find that immigrants have higher poverty rates than natives in both countries and that this difference has clearly increased in both countries. The paper reports results based on running probability models of poverty incidence. Explanatory variables include measures of years since immigration, demographic characteristics, and variables measuring country of origin. We conclude that a significant part of the difference in aggregate immigrant poverty rates reflect differences in composition by country of origin and differences in the structure of benefits to families with children.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1551.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2007, 33 (3), 373-396
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1551

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Keywords: panel data; immigrants; poverty;

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Cited by:
  1. Galloway, Taryn Ann & Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Pedersen, Peder J. & Österberg, Torun, 2009. "Immigrant Child Poverty in Scandinavia: A Panel Data Study," IZA Discussion Papers 4232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Christos Koutsampelas, 2012. "Immigration and Poverty: Findings from Cyprus," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 13-2012, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  3. Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo & José-Ignacio Antón, 2011. "From Rags to Riches? Immigration and Poverty in Spain," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 30(5), pages 661-676, October.
  4. Taryn Ann Galloway, 2008. "Re-Examining the Earnings Assimilation of Immigrants," Discussion Papers 570, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  5. Taryn Ann Galloway, 2006. "Do Immigrants Integrate Out of Poverty in Norway," Discussion Papers 482, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  6. Jorgen Hansen & Roger Wahlberg, 2009. "Poverty and its persistence: a comparison of natives and immigrants in Sweden," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 105-132, June.

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