International migration and the welfare state revisited

Noel Gaston, Gulasekaran Rajaguru*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Immigration is a controversial topic in most developed economies. The presence of a redistributive welfare state in all major immigrant host countries creates a margin on which immigration affects native welfare. The primary focus of the paper is whether a large intake of immigrants reduces welfare state effort. It is usually argued that steady increases in immigration lead to public pressure for lower levels of publicly-funded social expenditures. In contrastz to the earlier empirical literature on this topic, we find little evidence in favour of this hypothesis. While immigration does have a relatively modest effect on the welfare state, if anything there is some support for the view that a greater influx of immigrants has lead policy-makers to increase welfare state spending.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-101
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
Volume29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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