"Immigrants not more likely to become dependent on welfare"

Immigrants receiving state welfare in the 1990s did not become more dependent on benefits than their Swedish-born counterparts, say Swedish researchers in a journal article published internationally.

"Despite Sweden taking in many immigrants during this period we have not found that they became more dependent on benefits than those born in Sweden. There are differences in the first three years, but not in the fourth, writes Daniela Andrén, lecturer at Örebro University School of Business in a press release.

The other author of the journal article is Thomas Andrén of the Swedish Institute of Economic Research.

The researchers say they have developed a statistical model that takes account for factors such as "motivation, personality and openness."

They say the effect of benefits dependence "is three times larger for foreign-born compared to Swedish-born. However, when the effect is distributed over time, it decreases and loses significance after three years for both groups."

Their conclusion is that the government should focus resources on connecting people with work as early soon as possible.

"Never give up? The persistence of welfare participation in Sweden" is published in The IZA Journal of European Labor Studies.

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