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Migration and Integration of Immigrants in Denmark


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  • Deborah Roseveare
  • Martin Jorgensen


Immigration could offer one way for Denmark to expand its labour supply, thereby lowering the dependency ratio, at least for some time, and easing the task of ensuring fiscal sustainability. However, these beneficial effects are obtained only if immigrants are in work. Yet a significant proportion of immigrants have found it quite difficult to get work in Denmark, while the country has been relatively unattractive to high-skilled foreigners. Furthermore, the structure of the economy not only makes it difficult for low-skilled foreigners to gain a foothold in the labour market, but also provides generous social benefits that have caught many of the least skilled immigrants in a benefit trap. A heightened appreciation of these problems, including a tighter focus on the economic situation of the immigrants already present, have underpinned the main changes in policies on immigration in recent years ... L’immigration pourrait être, pour le Danemark, un moyen d’accroître son offre de main-d’œuvre. Cela ferait baisser le taux de dépendance, pour quelque temps du moins, et serait propice à la viabilité budgétaire. Toutefois, ces effets bénéfiques ne se font sentir que si les immigrants sont pourvus d’un emploi. Or, un pourcentage non négligeable de cette population a eu de graves difficultés à trouver du travail dans ce pays qui, par ailleurs, n’attire que relativement peu de travailleurs hautement qualifiés. De surcroît, non seulement la structure de l’économie danoise permet difficilement aux étrangers faiblement qualifiés de s’insérer sur le marché du travail, mais le pays est généreux en matière d’octroi de prestations sociales, ce qui fait que beaucoup d’immigrants les moins qualifiés se sont trouvés pris au piège de l’assistance. Ces dernières années, les principaux changements apportés aux mesures concernant l’immigration ont été inspirés par une perception plus aigue de ces ...

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 386.

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Date of creation: 30 Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:386-en

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Keywords: Denmark; benefit traps; fiscal sustainability; participation rates; language skills; integration policies; wage compression; immigration patterns; demographic projections; tendances des flux d'immigration; perspectives démographiques; taux de participation; politiques d'intégration; Danemark; compétences linguistiques; piège des prestations sociales; compression des salaires; viabilité budgétaire;

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Cited by:
  1. Galloway, Taryn Ann & Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Pedersen, Peder J. & Österberg, Torun, 2009. "Immigrant Child Poverty in Scandinavia: A Panel Data Study," IZA Discussion Papers 4232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. D'Costa, Anthony P., 2004. "Globalization, Development, and Mobility of Technical Talent: India and Japan in Comparative Perspectives," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).


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