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Immigrant Welfare Receipt across Europe


  • Barrett, Alan

    () (ESRI, Dublin)

  • Maitre, Bertrand

    () (ESRI, Dublin)


The issue of welfare receipt by immigrants is highly controversial across Europe. In this paper, we assess whether immigrants are more likely to receive welfare payments relative to natives across a range of European countries. Using the European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions for 2007, we find very little evidence that immigrants are indeed more likely to receive such payments when all payments are considered together. This is true whether we use raw data or regression analysis in which we control for relevant characteristics. We do find evidence of higher rates of poverty among immigrants. When combined with the results on welfare receipt, this raises a question over the effectiveness of welfare systems in protecting immigrants from poverty across Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Barrett, Alan & Maitre, Bertrand, 2011. "Immigrant Welfare Receipt across Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 5515, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5515

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pedro Rey-Biel, 2008. "Inequity Aversion and Team Incentives," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 297-320, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Kahanec & Anna Myung-Hee Kim & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2013. "Pitfalls of immigrant inclusion into the European welfare state," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 39-55, March.
    2. Peter Huber & Doris A. Oberdabernig, 2016. "Decomposing Welfare Wedges: An Analysis of Welfare Dependence of Immigrants and Natives in Europe," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 82-107, February.
    3. Bruckmeier, Kerstin & Wiemers, Jürgen, 2016. "Differences in welfare take-up between immigrants and natives," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145828, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Corrado Giulietti & Martin Guzi & Martin Kahanec & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2013. "Unemployment benefits and immigration: evidence from the EU," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 24-38, March.
    5. Marcus H. Böhme & Sarah Kups, 2017. "The economic effects of labour immigration in developing countries: A literature review," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 335, OECD Publishing.
    6. Bruckmeier, Kerstin & Wiemers, Jürgen, 2016. "Differences in welfare take-up between immigrants and natives : a microsimulation study," IAB Discussion Paper 201608, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    7. Paweł Kaczmarczyk, 2013. "Are immigrants a burden for the state budget? Review paper," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/79, European University Institute.
    8. Alessandra Venturini, 2012. "Methodological Aspects of Research on Flows Human Capital Flows: A survey," RSCAS Working Papers carim2012/01, European University Institute.
    9. Marco Marozzi, 2016. "Construction, Robustness Assessment and Application of an Index of Perceived Level of Socio-Economic Threat from Immigrants: A Study of 47 European Countries and Regions," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 413-437, August.
    10. Corrado Giulietti, 2014. "The welfare magnet hypothesis and the welfare take-up of migrants," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-37, June.
    11. Duszczyk, Maciej & Góra, Marek & Kaczmarczyk, Pawel, 2013. "Costs and Benefits of Labor Mobility between the EU and the Eastern Partnership Countries: The Case of Poland," IZA Discussion Papers 7664, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Eichhorst, Werner & Giulietti, Corrado & Guzi, Martin & Kendzia, Michael J. & al., et, 2011. "Report No. 40: The Integration of Migrants and its Effects on the Labour Market," IZA Research Reports 40, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Morton Beiser & Feng Hou, 2014. "Chronic health conditions, labour market participation and resource consumption among immigrant and native-born residents of Canada," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 59(3), pages 541-547, June.

    More about this item


    welfare; immigrants; Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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