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The Dynamics of Immigrant Welfare and Labour Market Behaviour

  • Hansen, Jörgen
  • Löfström, Magnus

This Paper analyses transitions into and out of three different labour market states: social assistance, unemployment and employment. We estimate a dynamic multinomial logit model, controlling for endogenous initial conditions and unobserved heterogeneity, using a large representative Swedish panel data set, LINDA, for the years 1990-6. The unadjusted data indicates that immigrants are more likely to receive both social assistance and unemployment compensation than natives are. Immigrants are less likely to remain employed in consecutive years than natives are and are more likely to stay on welfare and to receive unemployment insurance in any year, given participation in the previous year. The empirical results suggest that refugee immigrants display a greater degree of ‘structural’ state dependence than natives. Further, immigrants from non-refugee countries display a similar degree of ‘structural’ state dependence as natives. The high welfare participation rates among refugee immigrants seem to be due to the existence of a ‘welfare trap’, while participation among natives and non-refugee immigrants is largely due to permanent unobserved characteristics. These results suggest that welfare reforms will have differential effects on refugee immigrants and natives

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3028.

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Date of creation: Oct 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3028
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  1. Borjas, George J & Hilton, Lynette, 1996. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 575-604, May.
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  3. 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.
  4. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P., 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Papers 2000-19, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
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  6. Per-Anders Edin & Robert J. LaLonde & Olof Aslund, 2000. "Emigration of Immigrants and Measures of Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence from Sweden," Working Papers 0020, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  7. Jörgen Hansen & Magnus Lofstrom, 2010. "Immigrant Assimilation and Welfare Participation: Do Immigrants Assimilate Into or Out-of Welfare," Working Papers id:2647, eSocialSciences.
  8. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Plant, Mark W, 1984. "An Empirical Analysis of Welfare Dependence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 673-84, September.
  10. Arellano, Manuel & Honore, Bo, 2001. "Panel data models: some recent developments," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 53, pages 3229-3296 Elsevier.
  11. Robert Plotnick, 1983. "Turnover in the AFDC Population: An Event History Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(1), pages 65-81.
  12. Dean R. Hyslop, 1999. "State Dependence, Serial Correlation and Heterogeneity in Intertemporal Labor Force Participation of Married Women," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1255-1294, November.
  13. Daniel Meyer, 1993. "Child support and welfare dynamics: Evidence from Wisconsin," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 45-62, February.
  14. O'Neill, June A & Bassi, Laurie J & Wolf, Douglas A, 1987. "The Duration of Welfare Spells," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(2), pages 241-48, May.
  15. Enberg, John & Gottschalk, Peter & Wolf, Douglas, 1990. "A random-effects logit model of work-welfare transitions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 63-75.
  16. Blank, Rebecca M., 1989. "Analyzing the length of welfare spells," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-273, August.
  17. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1996. "When Do Women Use Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility Versus Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 57-89.
  18. 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.
  19. Bo E. Honoré & Ekaterini Kyriazidou, 2000. "Panel Data Discrete Choice Models with Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 839-874, July.
  20. Hansen, Jörgen & Lofstrom, Magnus, 2006. "Immigrant-Native Differences in Welfare Participation: The Role of Entry and Exit Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 2261, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Daniel McFadden & Kenneth Train, 2000. "Mixed MNL models for discrete response," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-470.
  22. Card, David & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1988. "Measuring the Effect of Subsidized Training Programs on Movements in and out of Employment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 497-530, May.
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