October 23, 2007

Immigration policy and welfare state design; a qualitative approach to explore the interaction

Gericht arbeidsmigratiebeleid noodzakelijk

Press release
Nederland is aantrekkelijk voor laaggeschoolde migranten, maar minder aantrekkelijk voor hooggeschoolde arbeidsmigranten. Dit is een gevolg van de Nederlandse welvaartsstaat die een relatief hoge mate van herverdeling van inkomens kent. Om hooggeschoolde arbeidsmigranten te trekken, moet daarom een extra inspanning worden geleverd.

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This study confronts three possible labour migration regimes - a temporary, an open and a selective regime - with two possible welfare state settings - a highly redistributive and a hardly redistributive welfare state. By comparing the likely outcomes between the different regimes, and by taking possible effects on the self-selection of immigrants into account, the study draws the following conclusions.

First, both labour migration policy and the welfare state matter for the skill composition of labour migrants.

Second, to be attractive for high-skilled labour migrants a highly distributive welfare state needs to undo its discouraging effect on these migrants.

Third, a highly redistributive welfare state is attractive for low-skilled labour migrants. Because these migrants may become costly for such a welfare state once they manage to stay permanently, one should be careful with the introduction of temporary migration policies for the low-skilled.


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