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Welfare Migration

  • Giulietti, Corrado

    ()

    (University of Southampton)

  • Wahba, Jackline

    ()

    (University of Southampton)

This chapter reviews and discusses major theories and empirical studies about the welfare magnet hypothesis, i.e. whether immigrants are more likely to move to countries with generous welfare systems. Although economic theory predicts that welfare generosity affects the number, composition and location of immigrants, the empirical evidence is rather mixed. We offer possible explanations for the existence of such mixed evidence and highlight that the literature so far has overlooked the presence of different migration regimes, as well as the possibility of reverse causality between welfare spending and immigration.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6450.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann (eds.), International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, Edward Elgar 2013, Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, USA, Chapter 26, 489-504
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6450
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  1. George J. Borjas & Lynette Hilton, 1996. "Immigration and the Welfare State: Immigrant Participation in Means-Tested Entitlement Programs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 575-604.
  2. Böheim, René & Mayr, Karin, 2005. "Immigration and Public Spending," IZA Discussion Papers 1834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Mayda, Anna Maria, 2007. "International Migration: A Panel Data Analysis of the Determinants of Bilateral Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 6289, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Zimmermann, Klaus F. & Kahanec, Martin & Giulietti, Corrado & Guzi, Martin & Barrett, Alan & Maitre, Bertrand, 2012. "Report No. 43: Study on Active Inclusion of Migrants," IZA Research Reports 43, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Jorgen Hansen & Magnus Lofstrom, 2003. "Immigrant Assimilation and Welfare Participation Do Immigrants Assimilate Into or Out of Welfare?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(1).
  7. Nannestad, Peter, 2007. "Immigration and welfare states: A survey of 15 years of research," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 512-532, June.
  8. Assaf Razin & Jackline Wahba, 2015. "Welfare Magnet Hypothesis, Fiscal Burden, and Immigration Skill Selectivity," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(2), pages 369-402, 04.
  9. Boeri, Tito, 2009. "Immigration to the Land of Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 4273, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Giulietti, Corrado & Guzi, Martin & Kahanec, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Unemployment Benefits and Immigration: Evidence from the EU," IZA Discussion Papers 6075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. McKinnish, Terra, 2007. "Welfare-induced migration at state borders: New evidence from micro-data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 437-450, April.
  12. George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1990. "Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System," NBER Working Papers 3423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jim Dolmas & Gregory W. Huffman, 2004. "On The Political Economy Of Immigration And Income Redistribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1129-1168, November.
  14. Regina T. Riphahn & Monika Sander & Christoph Wunder, 2013. "The welfare use of immigrants and natives in Germany: the case of Turkish immigrants," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 70-82, January.
  15. Frédéric Docquier & B. Lindsay Lowell & Abdeslam Marfouk, 2009. "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 297-321.
  16. Pellizzari, Michele, 2011. "The Use of Welfare by Migrants in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 5613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. 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.
  18. Terra McKinnish, 2005. "Importing the Poor: Welfare Magnetism and Cross-Border Welfare Migration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
  19. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2004. "Migration, the Life Cycle, and State Benefits: How Low Is the Bottom?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 1091-1130, October.
  20. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Suwankiri, Benjarong, 2011. "Migration and the Welfare State: Political-Economy Policy Formation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262016109, December.
  21. Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 1995. "An Empirical Analysis of the Welfare Magnet Debate Using the NLSY," NBER Working Papers 5264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Borjas, George J, 1999. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 607-37, October.
  23. Bruce D. Meyer, 1998. "Do the Poor Move to Receive Higher Welfare Benefits?," JCPR Working Papers 58, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  24. Edward M. Gramlich & Deborah S. Laren, 1984. "Migration and Income Redistribution Responsibilities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(4), pages 489-511.
  25. Kahanec, Martin & Zaiceva, Anzelika & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Lessons from Migration after EU Enlargement," IZA Discussion Papers 4230, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
  27. Constant, Amelie F., 2011. "Sizing It Up: Labor Migration Lessons of the EU Enlargement to 27," IZA Discussion Papers 6119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. De Giorgi, Giacomo & Pellizzari, Michele, 2009. "Welfare migration in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 353-363, August.
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