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Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System

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  • George J. Borjas
  • Stephen J. Trejo

Abstract

This paper presents an empirical analysis of immigrant participation in the welfare system using the 1970 and 1980 U.S. Censuses. The availability of two cross-sections allows for identification of cohort and assimilation effects. The data indicate that recent immigrant cohorts use the welfare system more intensively than earlier cohorts. In addition, the longer an immigrant household has been in the United States, the more likely it is to receive welfare. The analysis also suggests that a single factor, the changing national origin mix of the immigrant flow, accounts for much of the increase in welfare participation rates across successive immigrant waves.

Suggested Citation

  • George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1991. "Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(2), pages 195-211, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:44:y:1991:i:2:p:195-211
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card, 1990. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
    2. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    3. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Labor Market Adjustments to Increased Immigration," NBER Chapters,in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 167-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Grossman, Jean Baldwin, 1982. "The Substitutability of Natives and Immigrants in Production," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 596-603, November.
    5. Francine D. Blau, 1984. "The Use of Transfer Payments by Immigrants," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(2), pages 222-239, January.
    6. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-553, September.
    7. Borjas, George J, 1986. "The Sensitivity of Labor Demand Functions to Choice of Dependent Variable," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 58-66, February.
    8. Greenwood, Michael J & McDowell, John M, 1986. "The Factor Market Consequences of U.S. Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 1738-1772, December.
    9. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Natives," NBER Working Papers 3123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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