IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp66.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Immigrant Welfare Effect: Take-Up or Eligibility?

Author

Listed:
  • Bird, Edward J.

    (affiliation not available)

  • Kayser, Hilke

    (affiliation not available)

  • Frick, Joachim R.

    (DIW Berlin)

  • Wagner, Gert G.

    () (Max Planck Institute for Human Development)

Abstract

Are immigrants on welfare because they are more likely to be eligible or because they are more likely to claim benefits for which they are eligible? The answer is politically important, but because most current research on immigration and welfare is based on data from the U.S., the answer is difficult due to the complexities of the transfer system which make eligibility determinations difficult. In Germany, by contrast, eligibility for the main cash transfer program, Sozialhilfe (Social Assistance), is determined by a comparatively simple nation-wide formula. We use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel to test whether immigrants to Germany are more likely than natives to claim welfare benefits for which they are eligible. We find that immigrants are more likely than native Germans to receive welfare, both because immigrants are more likely to be eligible, and because they are more likely, when eligible, to claim their benefits. However, we also find that this greater propensity to take-up benefits is not related to immigrant status per se: when other socio-demographic factors are accounted for in an appropriate manner, immigrant households are no more likely to take up benefits than native households.

Suggested Citation

  • Bird, Edward J. & Kayser, Hilke & Frick, Joachim R. & Wagner, Gert G., 1999. "The Immigrant Welfare Effect: Take-Up or Eligibility?," IZA Discussion Papers 66, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp66
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp66.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joachim R. Frick & Timothy M. Smeeding & Gert G. Wagner, 1999. "Immigrants in Two Modern Nations: Characteristics of the Foreign and Native Born Populations in Germany and the United States," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 68(2), pages 297-307.
    2. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
    3. Michael Baker & Dwayne Benjamin, 1995. "The Receipt of Transfer Payments by Immigrants to Canada," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 650-676.
    4. Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1998. "Immigration und Arbeitsmarkt: Eine oekonomische Perspektive," IZA Discussion Papers 7, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. 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.
    6. George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1991. "Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(2), pages 195-211, January.
    7. Francine D. Blau, 1984. "The Use of Transfer Payments by Immigrants," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(2), pages 222-239, January.
    8. Wei-Yin Hu, 1998. "Elderly Immigrants on Welfare," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 711-741.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Axel Heitmueller, 2005. "Unemployment benefits, risk aversion, and migration incentives," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(1), pages 93-112, January.
    2. Muñoz de Bustillo, Rafael & Antón, José-Ignacio, 2009. "Immigration and Social Benefits in a Mediterranean Welfare State: The Case of Spain," MPRA Paper 13849, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Thomas K. Bauer, 2002. "Migration, Sozialstaat und Zuwanderungspolitik," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 71(2), pages 249-271.
    4. Paweł Kaczmarczyk, 2013. "Are immigrants a burden for the state budget? Review paper," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/79, European University Institute.
    5. Hilke Almut Kayser & Joachim R. Frick, 2000. "Take It or Leave It: (Non-) Take-up Behavior of Social Assistance in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 210, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Euwals, Rob & Dagevos, Jaco & Gijsberts, Mérove & Roodenburg, Hans, 2007. "Immigration, Integration and the Labour Market: Turkish Immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 2677, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Rob Euwals & Hans Roodenburg & J. Dagevos & M. Gijsberts, 2006. "Immigration, integration and the labour market; Turkish immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 75, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    8. Kaczmarczyk, Pawel, 2015. "Burden or Relief? Fiscal Impacts of Recent Ukrainian Migration to Poland," IZA Discussion Papers 8779, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Riphahn, Regina, 1999. "Immigrant Participation in Social Assistance Programs: Evidence from German Guestworkers," CEPR Discussion Papers 2318, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; social assistance; eligibility; take-up;

    JEL classification:

    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp66. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.