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Immigrants and Welfare Receipt in Ireland


  • Barrett, Alan

    () (ESRI, Dublin)

  • Joyce, Corona

    () (ESRI, Dublin)

  • Maitre, Bertrand

    () (ESRI, Dublin)


Since 2004, Ireland has included in its system of social welfare payments criteria for receipt which limit the extent to which immigrants can receive welfare payments. In this paper, we compare the rates of receipt of welfare for immigrants and natives to see if the outcome is consistent with the operation of this policy. Using data from 2008, we generally find lower rates of welfare receipt among immigrants. While the numbers of immigrants claiming unemployment-related payments surged at the outset of the recession, there appears to have been a quicker stabilisation in the number of immigrants claiming such benefits relative to natives, based on official data from 2007 to 2010. This would be consistent with the on-going implementation of the type of criteria introduced in 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Barrett, Alan & Joyce, Corona & Maitre, Bertrand, 2011. "Immigrants and Welfare Receipt in Ireland," IZA Discussion Papers 5516, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5516

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Immigrazione," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 3, pages 363-407, July-Sept.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barrett, Alan & Bergin, Adele & Kelly, Elish & McGuinness, Seamus, 2014. "Ireland's Recession and the Immigrant/Native Earnings Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 8459, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Quinn, Emma & Gusciute, Egle & Barrett, Alan & Joyce, Corona, 2014. "Migrant Access to Social Security and Healthcare: Policies and Practice in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT261.
    3. Alessandra Venturini, 2012. "Methodological Aspects of Research on Flows Human Capital Flows: A survey," RSCAS Working Papers carim2012/01, European University Institute.
    4. Andersen, Torben M. & Migali, Silvia, 2016. "Migrant Workers and the Welfare State," IZA Discussion Papers 9940, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Joyce, Corona, 2015. "Annual Policy Report on Migration and Asylum 2013: Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number SUSTAT53.
    6. Kevin Denny & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2016. "Immigration, Asylum, and Gender: Ireland and Beyond," Working Papers 201604, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

    More about this item


    welfare; immigrants; Ireland;

    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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