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Migration, Redistribution and the Universal Welfare Model

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  • Andersen, Torben M.

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    (Aarhus University)

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    Abstract

    The universal Scandinavian welfare model offers generous tax financed social benefits. The scheme is associated with workfare elements as a targeting device to direct benefits to those considered deserving. Thereby social insurance and egalitarian outcomes are achieved while work incentives and thus a high employment rate crucial for the financial viability of the model are maintained. The scope for this policy may depend critically on the characteristics of the population (abilities and preferences) and thus be significantly affected by immigration affecting the distribution of characteristics, especially if the model attracts immigrants with particular characteristics. The paper develops a simple model capable of capturing the rationale and essence of the above-mentioned redistribution model and considers its sensitivity and robustness to immigration, which may change the composition of the population in the ability and/or preference dimension.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6665.

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    Length: 27 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6665

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    Keywords: work incentives; active labour market policy; redistribution;

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    1. Brett, Craig, 1998. "Who Should Be on Workfare? The Use of Work Requirements as Part of an Optimal Tax Mix," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 607-22, October.
    2. Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Torben Tranas, 2005. "Optimal Workfare with Voluntary and Involuntary Unemployment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(3), pages 459-474, 09.
    3. Torben M. Andersen & Michael Svarer, 2014. "The Role of Workfare in Striking a Balance between Incentives and Insurance in the Labour Market," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(321), pages 86-116, 01.
    4. Borjas, George J, 1999. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 607-37, October.
    5. Holzner, Christian & Meier, Volker & Werding, Martin, 2010. "Workfare, monitoring, and efficiency wages," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 157-168, March.
    6. Katherine Cuff, 1998. "Optimality of Workfare with Heterogeneous Preferences," Working Papers 968, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    7. Constant, Amelie F. & Kahanec, Martin & Rinne, Ulf & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Ethnicity, Job Search and Labor Market Reintegration of the Unemployed," IZA Discussion Papers 4660, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Assaf Razin & Jackline Wahba, 2011. "Welfare Magnet Hypothesis, Fiscal Burden and Immigration Skill Selectivity," NBER Working Papers 17515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Giulietti, Corrado & Guzi, Martin & Kahanec, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Unemployment Benefits and Immigration: Evidence from the EU," IZA Discussion Papers 6075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
    11. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1992. "Workfare versus Welfare Incentive Arguments for Work Requirements in Poverty-Alleviation Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 249-61, March.
    12. Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
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