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Can Immigrants Insure against Shocks as well as the Native-born?

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  • Asadul Islam
  • Steven Stillman
  • Christopher Worswick

Abstract

The impact that an unforeseen event has on household welfare depends on the extent to which household members can take actions to mitigate the direct impact of the shock. In this paper, we use nine years of longitudinal data from the Household Income Labour Dynamics of Australia (HILDA) survey to examine the impact of job displacement and serious health problems on: individual labour supply and incomes, household incomes and food expenditure. We extend on the previous literature by examining whether mitigation strategies and their effectiveness differs for the native-born and immigrants. Immigrants make up nearly one-quarter of the Australian population and there are a number of reasons to suspect that they may be less able to mitigate adverse shocks than the native-born.

Suggested Citation

  • Asadul Islam & Steven Stillman & Christopher Worswick, 2016. "Can Immigrants Insure against Shocks as well as the Native-born?," Monash Economics Working Papers 31-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2016-31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-324, March.
    2. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2001. "The Life-Cycle Model of Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    3. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2002. "Precautionary Saving by Young Immigrants and Young Natives," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 48-71, July.
    4. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
    5. Holger Bonin & Amelie Constant & Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Klaus Zimmermann, 2009. "Native-migrant differences in risk attitudes," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(15), pages 1581-1586.
    6. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Joachim Winter, 2014. "The Measurement of Household Consumption Expenditures," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 475-501, August.
    7. Marcus Eliason & Donald Storrie, 2006. "Lasting or Latent Scars? Swedish Evidence on the Long-Term Effects of Job Displacement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 831-856, October.
    8. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
    9. Galor, Oded & Stark, Oded, 1991. "The probability of return migration, migrants' work effort, and migrants' performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 399-405, April.
    10. Asadul Islam & Jaai Parasnis & Dietrich Fausten, 2013. "Do Immigrants Save Less than Natives? Immigrant and Native Saving Behaviour in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(284), pages 52-71, March.
    11. Melvin Stephens, 2001. "The Long-Run Consumption Effects Of Earnings Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 28-36, February.
    12. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-188, January.
    13. Christopher D. Carroll & Byung-Kun Rhee & Changyong Rhee, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-699.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    job loss; income; consumption; labour supply; disability;

    JEL classification:

    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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