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Welfare participation by immigrants in the UK

Listed author(s):
  • Stephen Drinkwater

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the welfare participation of immigrant groups in the UK, which has experienced a large growth in its immigrant flows and population levels in recent years, especially following EU enlargement in 2004. The analysis particularly focuses on the types of benefits that immigrants tend to claim, as well as examining differences by area of origin. It also examines the factors that determine social assistance benefit claims, including an investigation of the impact of education, ethnicity and years since migration. Design/methodology/approach - A series of probit regression models are estimated using data from the UK Labour Force Survey collected between 2004 and 2009. Findings - Social welfare claims vary considerably by immigrant group as well as by the type of benefit claimed in the UK. There are also differences by immigrant group in the factors determining social assistance claims. Research limitations/implications - It is very difficult to generalise on the issue of welfare participation by immigrants in the UK. This is important, given policy changes towards migrants from non-EU countries and in relation to welfare reforms. Originality/value - The limited previous work in this area for the UK has tended to analyse all benefit claims made by immigrants as a whole, whereas this analysis splits immigrants into different groups and focuses on the types of benefits that are claimed. This has important implications, particularly given the recent increase in immigration to the UK.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 34 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 100-112

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:34:y:2013:i:2:p:100-112
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  1. Michael Baker & Dwayne Benjamin, 1995. "The Receipt of Transfer Payments by Immigrants to Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 650-676.
  2. Stephen Wheatley Price, 2001. "The employment adjustment of male immigrants in England," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(1), pages 193-220.
  3. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2011. "Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
  4. Drinkwater, Stephen & Eade, John & Garapich, Michal, 2006. "Poles Apart? EU Enlargement and the Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 2410, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Blume, Kraen & Verner, Mette, 2007. "Welfare dependency among Danish immigrants," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 453-471, June.
  6. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2010. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 1-41, 03.
  7. repec:eme:rleczz:s0147-912120140000039000 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Alan Barrett & Yvonne McCarthy, 2008. "Immigrants and welfare programmes: exploring the interactions between immigrant characteristics, immigrant welfare dependence, and welfare policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 543-560, Autumn.
  9. Clark, Ken & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2005. "Dynamics and Diversity: Ethnic Employment Differences in England and Wales, 1991-2001," IZA Discussion Papers 1698, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Lorenzo Cappellari & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2014. "The Dynamics of Social Assistance Benefit Receipt in Britain," Research in Labor Economics,in: Safety Nets and Benefit Dependence, volume 39, pages 41-79 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
  11. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2005. "Immigrants in the British labour market," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(4), pages 423-470, December.
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