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International migration and the welfare state revisited

  • Gaston, Noel
  • Rajaguru, Gulasekaran

Immigration is a controversial topic in most developed economies. The presence of a redistributive welfare state in all major immigrant host countries creates a margin on which immigration affects native welfare. The primary focus of the paper is whether a large intake of immigrants reduces welfare state effort. It is usually argued that steady increases in immigration lead to public pressure for lower levels of publicly-funded social expenditures. In contrastz to the earlier empirical literature on this topic, we find little evidence in favour of this hypothesis. While immigration does have a relatively modest effect on the welfare state, if anything there is some support for the view that a greater influx of immigrants has lead policy-makers to increase welfare state spending.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S017626801200047X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 29 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 90-101

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:29:y:2013:i:c:p:90-101
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2012.08.004
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

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