Fiscal Costs and Benefits of High Skilled Immigration to a Generous Welfare State

Rasmus Højbjerg Jacobsen, Jan Rose Skaksen

Research output: Working paperResearch


We consider the fiscal impact of work related high skilled immigration to a generous welfare state. In a simple theoretical model, we show that, even though a generous welfare state tends to attract immigrants with a high demand for public services, the high skilled immigrants may still be selected among individuals with a relatively low demand of public services. In the empirical analysis we apply a unique Danish data set containing very detailed information on all residents in Denmark, including information on migration.Denmark is interesting, because it has one of the most generous welfare states in the world, and, in spite of that, it turns out that high skilled immigration gives rise to a big net fiscal surplus. Further, high skilled immigrants seem to be selected among those having a relatively low demand of public services.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherDepartment of Economics, University College London
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
SeriesNorface Discussion Paper Series

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