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Migrants, Ethnicity and the Welfare State

  • Epstein, Gil S.


    (Bar-Ilan University)

A model is set up where migrants must choose a level of social traits and consumption of ethnic goods. As the consumption level of ethnic goods increases, the migrants become ever more different to the local population and are less assimilated. Less assimilation affects the reaction of the local population to the migrants and their willingness to accept the newcomers. This social phenomenon and affects wages and unemployment. We show that the growth in the unemployment and social benefits of legal migrants increases the consumption of ethnic goods, thus creating a trap wherein the willingness of the local population to accept the migrants into the economy decreases. This process also increases the probability of the migrants' dependence on the welfare state. On the other hand, illegal migrants could play an important role in the assimilation of the legal migrants.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6850.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Korean Economic Review, 2012, 28 (2), 117-136.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6850
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2010. "Migration and Culture," Development Working Papers 304, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Gil Epstein, 2009. "Willingness to Assimilate and Ethnicity," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 35, pages 1.
  3. Barry R. Chiswick, 1998. "Hebrew language usage: Determinants and effects on earnings among immigrants in Israel," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 253-271.
  4. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Kverndokk, Snorre & Nyborg, Karine, 2003. "An economic model of moral motivation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1967-1983, September.
  5. Gang, Ira N & Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L, 1994. "Labor Market Effects of Immigration in the United States and Europe: Substitution vs. Complementarity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 157-75.
  6. Kahanec, Martin, 2006. "Ethnic Specialization and Earnings Inequality: Why Being a Minority Hurts but Being a Big Minority Hurts More," IZA Discussion Papers 2050, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Carmel Chiswick, 2009. "The economic determinants of ethnic assimilation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 859-880, October.
  8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:955-988 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Epstein, Gil S., 2000. "Labor Market Interactions Between Legal and Illegal Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 204, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Gil Epstein, 2007. "Extremism within the family," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 707-715, July.
  11. Anas, Alex, 2002. "Prejudice, exclusion, and compensating transfers: the economics of ethnic segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 409-432, November.
  12. Epstein, Gil S & Gang, Ira, 2004. "Ethnic Networks and International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 4616, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2006. "The Influence of Stocks and Flows on Migrants’ Location Choices," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-13, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  14. Amelie Constant & Liliya Gataullina & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2006. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 567, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  15. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:905-953 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2005. "Immigrant Performance and Selective Immigration Policy: A European Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 1715, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:715-753 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-70, April.
  19. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  20. McManus, Walter & Gould, William & Welch, Finis, 1983. "Earnings of Hispanic Men: The Role of English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 101-30, April.
  21. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "The effects of education, parental background and ethnic concentration on language," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 245-262.
  22. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Epstein, Gil S. & Hillman, Arye L., 2003. "Unemployed immigrants and voter sentiment in the welfare state," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1641-1655, August.
  24. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2005. "The melting pot and school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 871-896, June.
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