IZA DP No. 6220: Immigration and Welfare State Cash Benefits: The Danish Case
published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2013, 34 (2), 113-125
The purpose in this paper is to summarize existing evidence on welfare dependence among immigrants in Denmark and to supply new evidence with focus on the most recent years. Focus is on immigrants from non-western countries. The paper contains an overview of the background regarding immigration in recent decades followed by a survey of relevant benefit programmes in the Danish welfare state. Existing studies focus on both macro analyses of the overall impact from immigration on the public sector budget and on micro oriented studies with focus on specific welfare programs. Existing studies focus on the importance for welfare dependence of demographic variables, on the big variation between countries of origin and on the importance of cyclical factors at time of entry and during the first years in the new country. Evidence from the most recent years reinforce the importance of aggregate low unemployment in contrast to fairly small effects found from policy changes intending to influence the economic incentives between welfare and a job for immigrants.