Research of DPP professor Martin Kahanec quoted by The Economist

Martin Kahanec

Recent research by Martin Kahanec (Public Policy) busting the myths of welfare magnet of migration and welfare use by immigrants receives further attention of major international media. After being covered by Handelsblatt, Focus, The Globe and Mail's Economy Lab, Euractiv, Czech Press Agency (CTK) among others; this weeks article in The Eonomist quotes Kahanec on welfare use of immigrants:

[...Yet when all benefits are taken into account “EU migrants are no more likely to be in welfare than natives”, concludes Martin Kahanec at the Central European University. Where EU immigrants collect benefits, it is usually for minimum-income support, not contributory social-security payments such as pensions, sickness, disability or housing benefits. “Even with unemployment benefits, once we compare migrants to similar natives, there is no difference in welfare use,” reckons Mr Kahanec. In general, employment and wage differentials are far bigger motives for migration than welfare...]

The underlying paper studies the impact of unemployment benefits on immigration. A sample of 19 European countries observed over the period 1993-2008 is used to test the hypothesis that unemployment benefit spending (UBS) is correlated with immigration flows from EU and non-EU origins. While OLS estimates reveal the existence of a moderate correlation for non-EU immigrants only, IV and GMM techniques used to address endogeneity issues yield, respectively, a much smaller and an essentially zero causal impact of UBS on immigration. All estimates for immigrants from EU origins indicate that flows within the EU are not related to unemployment benefit generosity. This suggests that the so-called "welfare migration" debate is misguided and not based on empirical evidence.

“Unemployment Benefits and Immigration: Evidence from the EU”, International Journal of Manpower, (2012). (with Corrado Giulietti, Martin Guzi and Klaus F. Zimmermann) (also CEPR DP 8672; IZA DP 6075; 2011) (DOWNLOADABLE!)

See also a report for the EC on this topic:
and a special issue in the International Journal of Manpower covering immigrant welfare integration: