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Are immigrants really attracted to the welfare state? Evidence from OECD countries

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  • Aaron Jackson
  • David Ortmeyer
  • Michael Quinn

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of fiscal policies on both the size and educational levels of immigrants in destination countries. We find that whether or not a country’s policies are attracting highly educated immigrants goes beyond the issue of the “welfare state”. Immigrants are making important distinctions between the different benefits provided by a receiving country’s government. Health and education spending are found to have a positive impact on the education levels of immigrants while the reverse is true for unemployment and retirement benefits. Welfare programs are found to be insignificant once other government programs/taxes and other factors are taken into account. These results imply that countries should be less concerned about whether they are a “big government” with regards to attracting immigrants, and more concerned with what types of benefits they offer. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron Jackson & David Ortmeyer & Michael Quinn, 2013. "Are immigrants really attracted to the welfare state? Evidence from OECD countries," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 491-519, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:iecepo:v:10:y:2013:i:4:p:491-519
    DOI: 10.1007/s10368-012-0219-2
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    Cited by:

    1. Fedotenkov, Igor, 2015. "International Trade and Migration: Why Do Migrants Choose Small Countries?," MPRA Paper 66035, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Forslid, Rikard & Nyberg, Sten, 2017. "Brexit - balancing trade and mobility?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12370, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Jana Tepperová & Stanislav Klazar, 2012. "Vliv sociálních systémů a jejich koordinace na ekonomickou migraci [The Impact of Social Systems and their Coordination on Economic Migration]," Politická ekonomie, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2012(4), pages 505-522.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; European union; Fiscal; Welfare; J1; J6; F2;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business

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