Migrants, Welfare Systems and Social Citizenship in Ireland and Britain: Users or Abusers?
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Corrigan, Owen 'Migrants, Welfare Systems and Social Citizenship in Ireland and Britain: Users or Abusers?' 39, (3), 2010
Migrants, Welfare Systems and Social Citizenship in Ireland and Britain- Users or Abusers?.pdf (Published (publisher's copy) - Peer Reviewed) 168.0Kb
Public discourse on migrant interactions with state welfare systems has often assumed exploitative motivations on the part of migrants, with charges of welfare tourism a recurring theme among segments of the political spectrum. Academic research has also tended to characterise migrant welfare utilisation in simple dichotomous terms where migrants are either `welfare dependent? or not. This article argues for the analytic utility of disaggregating the concept of welfare utilisation into distinct component parts, denoting usage, participation and dependency with regard to state-provided cash welfare benefits. Using EU survey data, these distinct components of welfare utilisation among migrants are assessed in comparative cross-national context, comparing welfare and labour market outcomes for similar cohorts of migrants faced with dissimilar incentive structures. The results have direct implications for policy-makers, and for migrant experiences of social citizenship, in so far as they show little support for the moral hazard view of migrant interactions with welfare systems. Migrants in Ireland's relatively more generous welfare system are seen to have no greater likelihood of welfare dependency, and in fact show a lower usage of welfare (as a proportion of total income) than similar migrants in Britain, controlling for characteristics. Intriguingly, however, the likelihood of forming a partial labour market attachment is seen to respond to increasing levels of welfare usage in Ireland, but not in Britain, suggesting that migrants may be taking an active role in how they define their position in the work-welfare nexus in response to welfare system incentives.
Author: CORRIGAN, OWEN
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:Journal of Social Policy;39
Availability:Full text available