Segmented Paths of Welfare Assimilation

Anny Yip-Ching Yu , United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) and Maastricht Graduate School of Governance

This paper investigates the extent to which first-generation immigrants in the Netherlands undergo segmented paths of welfare assimilation and its underlying mechanism. Using unique longitudinal panel administrative data (2007-2015) based on the entire Dutch population from the Statistics Netherlands (CBS), we estimate the trajectories of immigrant welfare utilization over the working-age life course, which is employed as an indicator of economic marginalization, vis-à-vis those of two base groups from the native populations representing different economic segments of the host country: average Dutch natives and Dutch natives with low education level. The results show that, while mainstream assimilation is the dominant trend, it is not a common path for all. The risk of persistent marginalization exists and concentrates among those marked by structural and human capital disadvantages in spite of upward intragenerational mobility. The worst scenario projected is a lack of assimilation to neither segment, suggesting prospective emergence of an ethnic underclass at the bottom of the economic ladder.

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 Presented in Session 71. Immigrants' Structural Integration I: Labour Market