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Assimilating Immigrants: The Impact of an Integration Program

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  • Matti Sarvimaki

    ()
    (Aalto University School of Economics, Government Institute for Economic Research and London School of Economics)

  • Kari Hamalainen

    ()
    (Government Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

Immigration policy design is an important and controversial topic in most developed countries. We inform this debate by evaluating the effects of an integration program for immigrants to Finland. The program consists of an individualized sequence of training and subsidized employment. Non-compliance is sanctioned by reductions in welfare benefits. Our empirical strategy exploits a discontinuity that made participation obligatory in May 1999 only for those who had entered the population register after May 1997. The results suggest that the program strongly increased the employment and earnings of immigrants and reduced their dependency on social benefits.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 1019.

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Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1019

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Keywords: Immigrants; assimilation; integration programs; regression-discontinuity;

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References

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  1. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, . "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-26, Claremont Colleges.
  2. Cohen-Goldner, Sarit & Eckstein, Zvi, 2010. "Estimating the return to training and occupational experience: The case of female immigrants," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 86-105, May.
  3. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Assimilation and Changes in Cohort Quality Revisited: What Happened to Immigrant Earnings in the 1980s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 201-45, April.
  4. Lubotsky, D., 2000. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Papers 195, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  5. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  6. Åslund, Olof & Johansson, Per, 2006. "Virtues of SIN - effects of an immigrant workplace introduction program," Working Paper Series 2006:7, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. Rosholm, Michael & Vejlin, Rune Majlund, 2007. "Reducing Income Transfers to Refugee Immigrants: Does Starthelp Help You Start?," IZA Discussion Papers 2720, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Lee, David S. & Card, David, 2008. "Regression discontinuity inference with specification error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 655-674, February.
  9. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  10. Wei-Yin Hu, 2000. "Immigrant Earnings Assimilation: Estimates from Longitudinal Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 368-372, May.
  11. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
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