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2013: William Butos Monetary Orders and Institutions: A Hayekian Perspective

April 27, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

William Butos was awarded the 2013 O.P. Alford III Prize for his paper Monetary Orders and Institutions: A Hayekian Perspective. The prize is given to the author of the paper that best advances libertarian scholarship.

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Immigrant Myth: Fewer Use Government Services

April 27, 2013 in Economics

By Alex Nowrasteh

Alex Nowrasteh

A common conservative refrain is that immigrants, once they enter the U.S., “immediately begin to depend on government welfare,” as Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama recently put it.

That’s simply not true, according to a Cato Institute study by Professor Leighton Ku and lecturer Brian Bruen, both of George Washington University’s health policy department.

Ku and Bruen looked at social welfare programs ranging from Medicaid to the food stamp program to the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Their findings: Poor immigrants consistently use welfare programs less than their native-born counterparts. Furthermore, when poor immigrants do participate in welfare programs, the cost is less, resulting in a lower bill for the taxpayer.

Take Medicaid. Noncitizen immigrant adults and children are about 25 percent less likely to be signed up for Medicaid than their poor native-born equivalents. When they do sign up, poor immigrant adults consume $941 less on average than poor native adults every year. The story is the same for poor immigrant children. Looking at CHIP data, the study finds poor immigrant children consume 565 fewer dollars than poor native-born children.

Poor immigrants consistently use welfare programs less than their native-born counterparts.”

One hundred native-born adults eligible for Medicaid will cost the taxpayers about $98,000 a year. A comparable number of poor non-citizens — immigrants who have not naturalized — cost approximately $57,000 a year — a 42 percent lower bill than for natives. For children, citizens cost $67,000 and noncitizens cost $22,700 a year — a whopping 66 percent lower cost.

Average food stamp use tells a similar story. A poor native-born adult on food stamps receives about $1,091 a year worth of benefits while a non-citizen adult receives $825 — a 24 percent savings. Immigrants are also much less likely to receive food stamps: a noncitizen child is 37 percent less likely than a poor native-born child to receive food stamps.

Certainly it is true that immigrants use fewer benefits because they are not eligible for them. Legal immigrants cannot get welfare for their first five years of residency with few exceptions. Unauthorized immigrants, of course, are not eligible for welfare at all. But doesn’t this in itself undermine the notion that new immigrants “immediately” become government-dependent, as claimed by Sen. Sessions and his ilk?

Furthermore, even when immigrants are legally eligible for welfare, few of them take advantage of it. Immigrants are drawn to America’s labor markets, not to …read more

Source: OP-EDS