For comments on earlier drafts, I wish to thank Anders Björklund, Matz Dahlberg, Mikael Lindahl, Anders Stenberg, Eskil Wadensjö, two anonymous referees, and seminar participants at SOFI in 2006, ESPAnet Conference 2006 (Bremen), “Welfare State Feedbacks” 2007 (Aalborg), and APSA 2009 Annual Meeting (Toronto). Financial support from the Rockwool Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.
The Impact of Immigration on the Size of Government: Empirical Evidence from Danish Municipalities
Article first published online: 25 NOV 2010
© The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics 2010.
The Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Volume 113, Issue 1, pages 74–92, March 2011
How to Cite
Gerdes, C. (2011), The Impact of Immigration on the Size of Government: Empirical Evidence from Danish Municipalities. The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 113: 74–92. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9442.2010.01629.x
- Issue published online: 17 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 25 NOV 2010
- First version submitted May 2008; final version received October 2009.
- size of government;
- public goods;
- social cohesion;
- welfare state
Several studies have reported a negative relationship between ethnic heterogeneity and the size of the public sector. One problem with this literature is that ethnic composition is hardly exogenous, which obstructs attempts to reveal causal mechanisms. This paper explores the impact of changes in ethnic heterogeneity in Danish municipalities from 1995 through 2001, a period marked by an unprecedented influx of refugees. A state-sponsored placement policy restricted their choice of residence and required local governments to accept them as citizens. The analysis of the impact of this influx has not revealed any support for the claim of a decline in public sector size.