Immigrant–Native Differences in Welfare Participation: The Role of Entry and Exit Rates




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    •  The authors’ affiliation are, respectively, Department of Economics, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. E-mail:; Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), San Francisco, CA. E-mail: We thank Ken Chay for providing programming code for estimation of the fixed-effects logit specification utilized.


We analyze differences in welfare transitions between natives and immigrants in Sweden using a large representative panel data set. The data contain administrative information on welfare use and detailed demographic information. The empirical results suggest that the main reason for the large immigrant–native welfare gap observed is the differences in welfare entry rates. Thus, policies aimed to reduce these transitions may be particularly successful in reducing welfare use in general and particularly the immigrant–native welfare gap.