Are immigrants really attracted to the welfare state? Evidence from OECD countries
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- Jackson, A.L., Ortmeyer, D.L. & Quinn, M.A. Int Econ Econ Policy (2013) 10: 491. doi:10.1007/s10368-012-0219-2
This paper examines the impact of fiscal policies on both the size and educational levels of immigrants in destination countries. We find that whether or not a country’s policies are attracting highly educated immigrants goes beyond the issue of the “welfare state”. Immigrants are making important distinctions between the different benefits provided by a receiving country’s government. Health and education spending are found to have a positive impact on the education levels of immigrants while the reverse is true for unemployment and retirement benefits. Welfare programs are found to be insignificant once other government programs/taxes and other factors are taken into account. These results imply that countries should be less concerned about whether they are a “big government” with regards to attracting immigrants, and more concerned with what types of benefits they offer.