The Dynamics of Immigrant Welfare and Labor Market Behavior
Concordia University, Quebec - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Public Policy Institute of California; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3028
This Paper analyzes transitions into and out of three different labor market states: social assistance, unemployment and employment. We estimate a dynamic multinomial logit model, controlling for endogenous initial conditions and unobserved heterogeneity, using a large representative Swedish panel data set, LINDA, for the years 1990-6. The unadjusted data indicates that immigrants are more likely to receive both social assistance and unemployment compensation than natives are. Immigrants are less likely to remain employed in consecutive years than natives are and are more likely to stay on welfare and to receive unemployment insurance in any year, given participation in the previous year. The empirical results suggest that refugee immigrants display a greater degree of "structural" state dependence than natives. Further, immigrants from non-refugee countries display a similar degree of "structural" state dependence as natives. The high welfare participation rates among refugee immigrants seem to be due to the existence of a "welfare trap," while participation among natives and non-refugee immigrants is largely due to permanent unobserved characteristics. These results suggest that welfare reforms will have differential effects on refugee immigrants and natives.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: Immigration, labor market behavior, state dependence, transition, welfare
JEL Classification: I30, I38, J15, J18, J61
Date posted: November 13, 2001
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