Assimilation to a Welfare State: Labor Market Performance and Use of Social Benefits by Immigrants to Finland
Abstract: I study the assimilation of immigrants to the Finnish labor market and welfare system. The initial immigrant-native earnings gaps are large. While longterm immigrants experience a rapid earnings growth, only men from OECD countries converge to natives' earnings. Among all immigrant groups earnings grow predominantly due to improving employment rates rather than wage growth. Earnings profiles for temporary immigrants are flat. Furthermore, direct study of the use of social benefits suggests that immigrants learn to use the welfare system gradually. In particular, non-OECD households substantially increase their use of social assistance during their first five years in the country despite simultaneously doubling their earnings. JEL classification: J61, J31, F22
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