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


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 The policy was later repealed and re-introduced.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.

Migrants from EU and non-EU countries to Denmark and other Nordic countries.

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.

Metadata Access
Creator Agersnap, Ole; Jensen, Amalie; Kleven, Henrik
Publisher ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
Publication Year 2020
Rights Download; This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
OpenAccess true
Contact ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
Resource Type Dataset; program source code
Discipline Social Sciences