Is There a Tradeoff between Ethnic Diversity and Redistribution? The Case of Income Assistance in Canada
David Green () and
W. Craig Riddell ()
No 12098, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
Numerous studies conclude that ethnic/cultural/racial diversity has negative impacts on interpersonal trust and support for redistributive social programs. Although some Canadian public opinion data is consistent with this view, whether these impacts on public opinion are important enough to influence policy is unclear. Many scholars argue that Canada is an exception to experience elsewhere. This paper examines this question for the case of Canadian social assistance (welfare) policies - a central component of the social safety net. We exploit two salient features of recent Canadian experience. One is dramatic growth in the ethnic and cultural diversity of Canada's immigrant inflows in recent decades, but the extent of this growth has varied substantially across regions. The second is that welfare policies vary across provinces, and the ability of the provinces to employ different approaches to welfare programs has increased since the mid-1990s. We thus examine whether provinces that became more diverse reduced the generosity of their welfare programs, relative to provinces that experienced little change in the heterogeneity of their populations. We examine impacts of immigration on welfare benefit rates of four family types: single employables, single disabled, lone parents and couples with children. Our main finding is that there is limited evidence of increased immigration on any of these types other than families with children. Even in this case the estimated effects are small. Our study thus supports the view that Canada's experience stands as an example in which greater diversity has not reduced support for redistributive social programs.
Keywords: redistribution; social assistance; welfare; immigration; multiculturalism; ethnic diversity; interpersonal trust (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H0 I3 J6 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab, nep-mig and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: Is there a tradeoff between ethnic diversity and redistribution? The case of income assistance in Canada (2017)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp12098
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().