Data and Code for: "The Welfare Magnet Hypothesis: Evidence from an Immigrant Welfare Scheme in Denmark"

Resource Type
Dataset : program source code
  • Agersnap, Ole (Princeton University)
  • Jensen, Amalie (Princeton University)
  • Kleven, Henrik (Princeton University)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
population migration; unemployment benefits; migrants
  • Abstract

    We study the effects of welfare generosity on international migration using reforms of immigrant welfare benefits in Denmark. The first reform, implemented in 2002, lowered benefits for non-EU immigrants by about 50%, with no changes for natives or EU immigrants. The policy was later repealed and re-introduced. Based on a quasi-experimental research design, we find sizeable effects: the benefit reduction reduced the net flow of immigrants by about 5,000 people per year, and the subsequent repeal of the policy reversed the effect almost exactly. The implied elasticity of migration with respect to benefits equals 1.3. This represents some of the first causal evidence on the welfare magnet hypothesis.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1970-01-01 / 2019-12-31
    Time Period: Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1970--Tue Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2019
  • 2019-03-01 / 2020-05-27
    Collection Date(s): Fri Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2019--Wed May 27 00:00:00 EDT 2020
Geographic Coverage
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Finland
Sampled Universe
Migrants from EU and non-EU countries to Denmark and other Nordic countries.
Collection Mode
  • Note that the majority of the data used for this project are restricted data from Danish population registers. These data can only be accessed through accredited research institutions in Denmark, and we are therefore unable to provide them here. For more information on this, see the ReadMe file.
    We do include all the code used for the project, as well as those data files used in the paper that come from publicly accessible sources. These are data from other Nordic countries (Finland, Norway and Sweden) that are used in the cross-country analysis.

This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Has version
    DOI: 10.3886/E118585V1
  • Agersnap, Ole, Amalie Jensen, and Henrik Kleven. “The Welfare Magnet Hypothesis: Evidence from an Immigrant Welfare Scheme in Denmark.” American Economic Review: Insights, n.d.

Update Metadata: 2020-11-23 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-11-23