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The Use of Welfare by Migrants in Italy

  • Pellizzari, Michele

    ()

    (University of Geneva)

A large part of the Italian welfare system is designed and implemented at the very local level, leading to a high degree of heterogeneity in the type and the generosity of available programs across the country. As a consequence, studies of welfare use based on standard household surveys may fail to consider a large part of welfare recipients and provisions. In this paper I overcome such a problem by combining the analysis of welfare use in the Italian sample of the European Survey of Incomes and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) with the investigation of a new administrative archive that contains information on means tests certificates needed for applying to all kind of locally administered welfare programs. Results show that, without controlling for observable characteristics, migrants from outside the EU are more likely to receive or apply for welfare. Once individual and household characteristics are controlled for, such a residual welfare dependency is greatly reduced but does not disappear. Geographical location is a key factor, given that migrants tend to locate in the richest areas of the country, which also happen to be the ones where the local welfare is most generous.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5613.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2013, 34 (2), 155-166
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5613
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  1. Jörgen Hansen & Magnus Lofstrom, 2010. "Immigrant Assimilation and Welfare Participation: Do Immigrants Assimilate Into or Out-of Welfare," Working Papers id:2647, eSocialSciences.
  2. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht & Vogel, Thorsten, 2009. "Employment, Wages, and the Economic Cycle: Differences between Immigrants and Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 4432, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Alan Barrett & Yvonne McCarthy, 2008. "Immigrants and welfare programmes: exploring the interactions between immigrant characteristics, immigrant welfare dependence, and welfare policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 543-560, Autumn.
  4. De Giorgi, Giacomo & Pellizzari, Michele, 2009. "Welfare migration in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 353-363, August.
  5. Massimo Baldini & Stefano Toso & Paolo Bosi, 2002. "Targeting welfare in Italy: old problems and perspectives on reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 23(1), pages 51-75, March.
  6. Barth, Erling & Bratsberg, Bernt & Raaum, Oddbjørn, 2003. "Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys," Memorandum 20/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  7. Bernt Bratsberg & Oddbjørn Raaum & Knut Røed, 2010. "When Minority Labor Migrants Meet the Welfare State," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 633-676, 07.
  8. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
  9. Paul Winters & Alain de Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2001. "Family and Community Networks in Mexico-U.S. Migration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 159-184.
  10. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2010. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 1-41, 03.
  11. Storesletten, Kjetil, 1998. "Sustaining Fiscal Policy Through Immigration," Seminar Papers 664, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  12. Paola Monti & Michele Pellizzari, 2010. "Implementing a Guaranteed Minimum Income in Italy: An Empirical Analysis of Costs and Political Feasibility," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 69(1), pages 67-100, April.
  13. Francesca Mazzolari & Giuseppe Ragusa, 2013. "Spillovers from High-Skill Consumption to Low-Skill Labor Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 74-86, March.
  14. Enchautegui, Maria E, 1997. "Welfare Payments and Other Economic Determinants of Female Migration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 529-54, July.
  15. Alan Barrett & Yvonne McCarthy, 2007. "Immigrants in a Booming Economy: Analysing Their Earnings and Welfare Dependence," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(4-5), pages 789-808, December.
  16. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
  17. Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2009. "Measuring ethnic linkages among migrants," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(1/2), pages 56-69, May.
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