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Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System

  • George J. Borjas
  • Stephen J. Trejo

This paper presents an empirical analysis of immigrant participation in the welfare system using the 1970 and 1980 U.S. Censuses. The availability of two cross-sections allows for identification of cohort and assimilation effects. The data indicate that recent immigrant cohorts use the welfare system more intensively than earlier cohorts. In addition, the longer an immigrant household has been in the United States, the more likely it is to receive welfare. The analysis also suggests that a single factor, the changing national origin mix of the immigrant flow, accounts for much of the increase in welfare participation rates across successive immigrant waves.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3423.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3423.

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Date of creation: Aug 1990
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 195-211, (January 1991).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3423
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. David Card, 1990. "The impact of the Mariel boatlift on the Miami labor market," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
  2. George J. Borjas, 1985. "The Sensitivity of Labor Demand Functions to Choice of Dependent Variable," NBER Working Papers 1624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Francine D. Blau, 1984. "The use of transfer payments by immigrants," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(2), pages 222-239, January.
  4. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Labor Market Adjustments to Increased Immigration," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 167-199 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1989. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Natives," NBER Working Papers 3123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  7. Grossman, Jean Baldwin, 1982. "The Substitutability of Natives and Immigrants in Production," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 596-603, November.
  8. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Greenwood, Michael J & McDowell, John M, 1986. "The Factor Market Consequences of U.S. Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 1738-72, December.
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