Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to compare the rates of receipt of welfare for immigrants and natives in Ireland, to see if the outcome is consistent with the operation of a policy which was designed to limit immigrant access to welfare.
Design/methodology/approach:The authors use micro-data from the Irish component European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions for 2008, also published data on the numbers of people claiming unemployment related payments in Ireland. Descriptive statistics and results from probit regressions are presented.
Findings: The analysis generally shows that in the years preceding the recession, immigrants were less likely to be in receipt of welfare payments, whether one looks at adjusted or unadjusted data. The recession, and the consequent job losses among immigrants, gave rise to a possible surge in the numbers of immigrants receiving welfare benefits. While this seemed to happen at the outset of the recession, the more recent trends in the numbers receiving payments would suggest that the numbers of non-nationals stabilised, even as the number of nationals claiming payments continued to rise.
Research limitations/implications: As the data used do not give an indication of the length of time an immigrant has been in Ireland, the authors are unable to assess whether the observed patterns change with length of stay.
Social implications: The results suggest that Ireland’s policy of limiting access to welfare for immigrants has been successful in its primary goal.
Originality/value: No other papers have considered the issue of immigrant welfare receipt in Ireland in the context of the massive migratory inflow after EU expansion in 2004.
Source: International Journal of Manpower, Vol 34, Issue 2, pp.142-154