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Immigrant Participation in Social Assistance Programs: Evidence from German Guestworkers

  • Riphahn, Regina

The share of immigrants in the German social assistance program exceeds their population share and continues to grow. This study evaluates the causes of this phenomenon and tests for the effects of assimilation, cohort, age at migration, and country of origin on immigrant behaviour. It uses panel data and jointly models panel attrition, labour force status, and household social assistance dependence. Assimilation and age at migration increase the probability of social assistance dependence. In addition, the labour force status of the household head has different effects for native and immigrant welfare risks. The correction for unobserved heterogeneities in the estimation substantively affects the results.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2318.

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Date of creation: Dec 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2318
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  1. Bauer, Thomas & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1997. "Unemployment and wages of ethnic Germans," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 361-377.
  2. Borjas, George J, 1999. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 607-37, October.
  3. Blundell, Richard & Fry, Vanessa & Walker, Ian, 1987. "Modelling the Take-up of Means-tested Benefits: the Case of Housing Benefits in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(390), pages 58-74, Supplemen.
  4. Lee Lillard & James P. Smith & Finis Welch, 2004. "What Do We Really Know About Wages: The Importance of Nonreporting and Census Imputation," Labor and Demography 0404005, EconWPA.
  5. 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.
  6. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  7. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1995. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means- Tested Entitlement Programs," NBER Working Papers 5372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1992. "National Origin and Immigrant Welfare Recipiency," NBER Working Papers 4029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Francine D. Blau, 1984. "The use of transfer payments by immigrants," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(2), pages 222-239, January.
  10. George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1991. "Immigrant participation in the welfare system," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(2), pages 195-211, January.
  11. Duclos, Jean-Yves, 1995. "Modelling the take-up of state support," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 391-415, November.
  12. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  13. Bird, Edward J. & Kayser, Hilke & Frick, Joachim R. & Wagner, Gert G., 1999. "The Immigrant Welfare Effect: Take-Up or Eligibility?," IZA Discussion Papers 66, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Wei-Yin Hu, 1998. "Elderly Immigrants on Welfare," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 711-741.
  15. Anderson, Patricia M & Meyer, Bruce D, 1997. "Unemployment Insurance Takeup Rates and the After-Tax Value of Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 913-37, August.
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