Social Harmony at the Boundaries of the Welfare State: Immigrants and Social Transfers

36 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2000

See all articles by Gil S. Epstein

Gil S. Epstein

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; University College London - CReAM - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration

Arye L. Hillman

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: June 2000

Abstract

The social contract of the welfare state can be strained by the arrival of immigrants who receive welfare payments financed by citizens' taxes. We show, however, that the presence of unemployed immigrants receiving welfare payments is consistent with social harmony. The social harmony, which is a consequence of a view of unemployment as a labor-market discipline, contrasts with the social conflict predicted by Karl Marx when he proposed his earlier version of the same explanation for unemployment. We demonstrate that a socially harmonious policy is always feasible. Outcomes without social harmony can therefore always be suitably amended.

Keywords: Welfare state, social harmony, immigrants

JEL Classification: I38, F22, P16

Suggested Citation

Epstein, Gil S. and Hillman, Arye L., Social Harmony at the Boundaries of the Welfare State: Immigrants and Social Transfers (June 2000). IZA Discussion Paper No. 168. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=250111

Gil S. Epstein (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900
Israel
+972 3 531 8937 (Phone)
+972 3 535 3180 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~epsteig/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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University College London - CReAM - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration ( email )

Drayton House
30 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AX
United Kingdom

Arye L. Hillman

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900
Israel
+97 29 774 6424 (Phone)
+97 29 771 5628 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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