Welfare Migration

20 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2012

See all articles by Corrado Giulietti

Corrado Giulietti

Department of Economics

Jackline Wahba

University of Southampton, Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics


This chapter reviews and discusses major theories and empirical studies about the welfare magnet hypothesis, i.e. whether immigrants are more likely to move to countries with generous welfare systems. Although economic theory predicts that welfare generosity affects the number, composition and location of immigrants, the empirical evidence is rather mixed. We offer possible explanations for the existence of such mixed evidence and highlight that the literature so far has overlooked the presence of different migration regimes, as well as the possibility of reverse causality between welfare spending and immigration.

Keywords: welfare spending, immigration

JEL Classification: H53, J61, J68

Suggested Citation

Giulietti, Corrado and Wahba, Jackline, Welfare Migration. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6450, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2039636 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2039636

Corrado Giulietti (Contact Author)

Department of Economics ( email )

University Rd.
Southampton SO17 1BJ, Hampshire SO17 1LP
United Kingdom

Jackline Wahba

University of Southampton, Department of Economics ( email )

Southampton, SO171BJ
United Kingdom
+44 23 8059 3996 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/jackiewahba/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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