Coordinators : Prof. Dr. Ive Marx en Dr. Gerlinde Verbist


Research on migration has relatively recently been added to the Centre’s research agenda. Belgium and other Western European countries face a strong migration surplus. Moreover, the size and nature of immigration has also changed considerably. Some consider migration as a threat to the welfare state, while others consider it to be a “miracle cure” to address the pressures of an ageing population and to ensure the financial sustainability of social security. The migration picture is more complex than these two points of view, however. The interactions between migration and the welfare state are multifaceted and are addressed in the research projects of this domain.



Preparation of the "General Assembly on Civic Orientation and Integration 2010" : Organisation and reporting of the working group "Work".


Duration: 01/09/2010 – 31/12/2010
Funding: Flemish Administration for Integration
Promoter: Ive Marx
Researcher: Anne Vermeulen


This project prepared and organized the working group 'Work' of the Flemish "General Assembly on Civic Orientation and Integration 2010". The Assembly convened representatives of civil society, the integration sector and the sector of education, employer organisations, labour unions, organisations of new Flemings, local authorities, policy makers and academics to make concrete, realistic and constructive recommendations for shaping future Flemish integration policy. The first General Assembly focussed on issues of work, education, social cohesion and active citizenship.


Addressing shortages on the Belgian Labour Market through migration


Duration: 04/05/2010 – 15/07/2010
Funding: Belgian Ministry of Internal Affairs
Promoters: Ninke Mussche, Vincent Corluy, Ive Marx


What is the Belgian approach and policy regarding economic migration? This study addressed this question and examined labour migration in Belgium from the point of view of combating labour shortages and/or labour demands. Belgium’s modest labour migration regime consisted mainly of demand-driven case-by-case granting of temporary work permits. The labour migration regime is not specifically designed to combat labour shortages. Given the fact that Belgium has a significant labour reserve of both unemployed Belgians and unemployed immigrants, there is little enthusiasm to go beyond modest demand- driven labour migration.


Labour market position and mobility of migrants, and its impact on the welfare state


Duration: 01/01/2010 – 31/12/2013
Funding: Flemish Research Foundation (FWO Vlaanderen)
Promoters: Ive Marx & Gerlinde Verbist
Researcher: Vincent Corluy


The research question has two main parts. This project first examines the determinants of the gap in the labour market position and transitions between immigrants and natives in Belgium. This gap is nowhere else as big as it is in Belgium. For this study a unique database is used, namely the ad hoc module of the Labour Force Survey of the second trimester of 2008. This module focuses on the labour market situation of immigrants in Belgium. Second, the question is addressed to what extent immigration can contribute to the financial sustainability of social security in general and for Belgium in particular, given the labour market position and trajectories of immigrants? For this part data of the Labour Force Survey and EU-SILC are used. By means of an intergenerational calculation we make an estimate of the budgetary effects of immigrants at arrival and across their life course.



Open borders for a sustainable welfare state? An investigation into the interaction effects between migration and the welfare state.


Duration: 01/07/2006 – 31/12/2010
Funding: Special Research Fund, Antwerp University
Promoters: Gerlinde Verbist & Ive Marx
Researcher: Vincent Corluy


The central research question was: to what extent do migrants contribute to the financial sustainability of the social security system and to the economic capacity of the welfare state in general, with a focus on Belgium? To what extent can migration offer a solution to the economic and fiscal challenges produced by an ageing society? We tackled this issue using intergenerational calculations, by drawing up a socio-economic profile of migrants and by estimating their welfare dependency and contribution to the social security system. Immigrants’ socio-economic profile focused on income level, employment, age and household composition. The profiles formed the basis for mapping immigrants’ welfare dependency and social security contributions.

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