At the Lower End of the Table: Determinants of Poverty Among Immigrants to Denmark and Sweden

28 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2005

See all articles by Kraen Blume Jensen

Kraen Blume Jensen

Amternes og Kommunernes Forskningsinstitut (AKF); The Aarhus School of Business

Björn Gustafsson

University of Gothenburg - Department of Social Work; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Peder J. Pedersen

Department of Economics Aarhus University ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mette Verner

Aarhus University - Centre for Research in Social Integration and Marginalization (CIM)

Date Written: April 2005

Abstract

In this paper we study determinants of relative poverty among immigrants and natives in Denmark and Sweden during the 1980s and 1990s. Denmark and Sweden share the same properties in a range of labour market and welfare state characteristics. At the same time they differ very much in cyclical profiles and immigration experiences during recent decades. Both countries have followed the same principles regarding immigration policy, i.e. immigration from low income countries has been restricted to tied movers and refugees. We use 60 percent of the median in the distribution of equivalent disposable as poverty line. Data comes from two large panels based on administrative data. We find that immigrants have higher poverty rates than natives in both countries and that this difference has clearly increased in both countries. The paper reports results based on running probability models of poverty incidence. Explanatory variables include measures of years since immigration, demographic characteristics, and variables measuring country of origin. We conclude that a significant part of the difference in aggregate immigrant poverty rates reflect differences in composition by country of origin and differences in the structure of benefits to families with children.

Keywords: poverty, immigrants, panel data

JEL Classification: F22, J15

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Kraen Blume and Gustafsson, Bjorn and Pedersen, Peder J. and Verner, Mette, At the Lower End of the Table: Determinants of Poverty Among Immigrants to Denmark and Sweden (April 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=702842

Kraen Blume Jensen

Amternes og Kommunernes Forskningsinstitut (AKF) ( email )

Nyropsgade 37
Copenhagen, DK-1602
Denmark

The Aarhus School of Business ( email )

Haslegaardsvej 10
DK-8210 Aarhus, 8210
Denmark

Bjorn Gustafsson

University of Gothenburg - Department of Social Work ( email )

Göteborg
Sweden
+46 31-773-1890 (Phone)
+45 31-773-1888 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Peder J. Pedersen (Contact Author)

Department of Economics Aarhus University ( email )

DK-8000 Aarhus
Denmark
+45 8942 1581 (Phone)
+45 8613 6334 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Mette Verner

Aarhus University - Centre for Research in Social Integration and Marginalization (CIM) ( email )

DK-8210 Aarhus V
Denmark
+45 8948 6416 (Phone)
+45 8615 5175 (Fax)

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