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At the Lower End of the Table: Determinants of Poverty among Immigrants to Denmark and Sweden

Author

Listed:
  • Blume Jensen, Kræn

    () (Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI))

  • Gustafsson, Björn Anders

    () (University of Gothenburg)

  • Pedersen, Peder J.

    () (Aarhus University)

  • Verner, Mette

    () (Danish School of Media and Journalism)

Abstract

In this paper we study determinants of relative poverty among immigrants and natives in Denmark and Sweden during the 1980s and 1990s. Denmark and Sweden share the same properties in a range of labour market and welfare state characteristics. At the same time they differ very much in cyclical profiles and immigration experiences during recent decades. Both countries have followed the same principles regarding immigration policy, i.e. immigration from low income countries has been restricted to tied movers and refugees. We use 60 percent of the median in the distribution of equivalent disposable as poverty line. Data comes from two large panels based on administrative data. We find that immigrants have higher poverty rates than natives in both countries and that this difference has clearly increased in both countries. The paper reports results based on running probability models of poverty incidence. Explanatory variables include measures of years since immigration, demographic characteristics, and variables measuring country of origin. We conclude that a significant part of the difference in aggregate immigrant poverty rates reflect differences in composition by country of origin and differences in the structure of benefits to families with children.

Suggested Citation

  • Blume Jensen, Kræn & Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Pedersen, Peder J. & Verner, Mette, 2005. "At the Lower End of the Table: Determinants of Poverty among Immigrants to Denmark and Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 1551, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1551
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Taryn Ann Galloway, 2006. "Do Immigrants Integrate Out of Poverty in Norway," Discussion Papers 482, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    2. Galloway, Taryn Ann & Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Pedersen, Peder J. & Österberg, Torun, 2009. "Immigrant Child Poverty in Scandinavia: A Panel Data Study," IZA Discussion Papers 4232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Miguel Sanchez-Martinez & Philip Davis, 2014. "A review of the economic theories of poverty," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 435, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    4. Jorgen Hansen & Roger Wahlberg, 2009. "Poverty and its persistence: a comparison of natives and immigrants in Sweden," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 105-132, June.
    5. Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo & José-Ignacio Antón, 2011. "From Rags to Riches? Immigration and Poverty in Spain," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 30(5), pages 661-676, October.
    6. Christos Koutsampelas, 2012. "Immigration and Poverty: Findings from Cyprus," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 13-2012, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    7. Taryn Ann Galloway, 2008. "Re-Examining the Earnings Assimilation of Immigrants," Discussion Papers 570, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    panel data; immigrants; poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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