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Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs

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  • George J. Borjas
  • Lynette Hilton

Abstract

This paper documents the extent to which immigrants participate in the many programs that make up the welfare state. The immigrant-native difference in the probability of receiving cash benefits is small, but the gap widens once other programs are included in the analysis: 21 percent of immigrant households receive some type of assistance, as compared with only 14 percent of native households. The types of benefits received by earlier immigrants influence the types of benefits received by newly arrived immigrants. Hence there might be ethnic networks that transmit information about the availability of particular benefits to new immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1996. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 575-604.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:2:p:575-604.
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