Welfare, migration and the life course: welfare regimes and migration patterns of EU-citizens in the Netherlands

Petra de Jong, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Helga A. G. de Valk, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Christof Van Mol, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and Universiteit Antwerpen

Migration is often understood as a rational decision of individuals or households, to maximize (family) income and minimize risks. Welfare systems may reduce risks in migration, offer direct and indirect forms of (family) income, and provide insurance. Therefore, differences in welfare state arrangements across countries can be expected to influence migration decisions and patterns. Yet empirical evidence on the relation between migration and welfare is rather mixed, and knowledge on how welfare states shape intra-European migration is limited. In this study, we aim to advance our understanding on the relationship between migration and welfare. We analyze both immigration and emigration of EU-citizens in the Netherlands, using full population register data for three observation years: 2003, 2008 and 2013 covering different stages in European migration and developments in welfare states across Europe. Rather than isolating one indicator of the welfare state, welfare states are approached as the set of welfare institutions and arrangements in a country. By means of cluster analyses, we empirically test whether the established welfare regime typology can also be identified based on sizes of migration flows and migrants’ duration of stay. In addition, we investigate the relative importance of welfare state arrangements for different migrant profiles, by including life course related characteristics of migrants in the clustering. The results reveal differences in the clusters over the years under study. Therefore, our findings are discussed in the light of changes of welfare arrangements in the studied countries.

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Presented in Session 62: Migration, politics and welfare states