The Immigrant Welfare Effect: Take-Up or Eligibility?
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.
|Date of creation:||Oct 1999|
|Publication status:||published in: International Migration Review, 35 (2001), 726-748|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
- 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.
- Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1998. "Immigration und Arbeitsmarkt: Eine oekonomische Perspektive," IZA Discussion Papers 7, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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.
- George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1991.
"Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System,"
Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(2), pages 195-211, January.
- George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1990. "Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System," NBER Working Papers 3423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Francine D. Blau, 1984. "The Use of Transfer Payments by Immigrants," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(2), pages 222-239, January.
- 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)