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Migrants, Ethnicity and the Welfare State

Author

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  • Gil S. Epstein

    () (Bar-Ilan University, IZA and CReAM)

Abstract

A model is set up where migrants must choose a level of social traits and consumption of ethnic goods. As the consumption level of ethnic goods increases, the migrants become ever more different to the local population and are less assimilated. Less assimilation affects the reaction of the local population to the migrants and their willingness to accept the newcomers. This social phenomenon and affects wages and unemployment. We show that the growth in the unemployment and social benefits of legal migrants increases the consumption of ethnic goods, thus creating a trap wherein the willingness of the local population to accept the migrants into the economy decreases. This process also increases the probability of the migrants' dependence on the welfare state. On the other hand, illegal migrants could play an important role in the assimilation of the legal migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Gil S. Epstein, 2012. "Migrants, Ethnicity and the Welfare State," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1225, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1225
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gil Epstein, 2007. "Extremism within the family," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 707-715, July.
    2. Carmel Chiswick, 2009. "The economic determinants of ethnic assimilation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(4), pages 859-880, October.
    3. McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-130, April.
    4. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Ethnosizing immigrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 274-287, March.
    5. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
    6. Epstein, Gil S. & Hillman, Arye L., 2003. "Unemployed immigrants and voter sentiment in the welfare state," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1641-1655, August.
    7. 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).
    8. Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2005. "Immigrant Performance and Selective Immigration Policy: A European Perspective," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 94-105.
    9. Epstein, Gil S & Gang, Ira, 2004. "Ethnic Networks and International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 4616, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    11. Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2010. "Migration and Culture," Working Papers 2010-17, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    12. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Kverndokk, Snorre & Nyborg, Karine, 2003. "An economic model of moral motivation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1967-1983, September.
    13. Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2007. "The Influence of Stocks and Flows on Migrants’ Location Choices," Research in Labor Economics,in: Aspects of Worker Well-Being, volume 26, pages 199-229 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    14. Anas, Alex, 2002. "Prejudice, exclusion, and compensating transfers: the economics of ethnic segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 409-432, November.
    15. Gil S. Epstein, 2003. "Labor Market Interactions Between Legal and Illegal Immigrants," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 30-43, February.
    16. Kahanec, Martin, 2006. "Ethnic Specialization and Earnings Inequality: Why Being a Minority Hurts but Being a Big Minority Hurts More," IZA Discussion Papers 2050, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "The effects of education, parental background and ethnic concentration on language," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 245-262.
    18. Barry R. Chiswick, 1998. "Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(2), pages 253-271.
    19. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2005. "The melting pot and school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 871-896, June.
    20. Gang, Ira N & Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L, 1994. "Labor Market Effects of Immigration in the United States and Europe: Substitution vs. Complementarity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 157-175.
    21. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-170, April.
    22. Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953.
    23. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    24. Gil Epstein, 2009. "Willingness to Assimilate and Ethnicity," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 35, pages 1-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abdulloev, Ilhom & Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2014. "Ethnic Goods and Immigrant Assimilation," IZA Discussion Papers 8004, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare state; Social benefits; Ethnic goods; Social trait; Assimilation; Unemployment.;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

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