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Dynamics of employment assimilation


  • Alpaslan Akay

    () (University of Gothenburg


Abstract This paper investigates the dynamics of immigrants’ employment assimilation in comparison with the standard static assimilation model. When the effect of past employment experience on current employment possibilities differs between immigrants and natives, then the static assimilation model might produce biased and unrealistic predictions of the relative employment probabilities of immigrants. Using a high-quality panel dataset collected in Sweden and a state-of-the-art non-linear dynamic assimilation model, we find a large employment status persistence that substantially differs between immigrants and native Swedes. We show that failing to control for the differential past labor market experience leads to an incorrect account of the host country-specific human capital that results to a large overestimation (underestimation) of the short-run (long-run) marginal assimilation rates when using the standard static assimilation model. JEL Classification: C33, J15, J61

Suggested Citation

  • Alpaslan Akay, 2016. "Dynamics of employment assimilation," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-22, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izamig:v:5:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1186_s40176-016-0061-3 DOI: 10.1186/s40176-016-0061-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Pieter Bevelander & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2001. "Declining employment success of immigrant males in Sweden: Observed or unobserved characteristics?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(3), pages 455-471.
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    6. Bell, Brian D, 1997. "The Performance of Immigrants in the United Kingdom: Evidence from the GHS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 333-344, March.
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    8. Husted, Leif & Skyt Nielsen, Helena & Rosholm, Michael & Smith, Nina, 2000. "Employment and Wage Assimilation of Male First Generation Immigrants in Denmark," CLS Working Papers 00-1, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
    9. Barry R. Chiswick & Yinon Cohen & Tzippi Zach, 1997. "The Labor Market Status of Immigrants: Effects of the Unemployment Rate at Arrival and Duration of Residence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(2), pages 289-303, January.
    10. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(2), pages 133-156.
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    12. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Mac Innes, Hanna & Österberg, Torun, 2016. "Age at Immigration Matters for Labor Market Integration: The Swedish Example," IZA Discussion Papers 10423, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Dynamic panel data models; Employment assimilation; Initial values problem;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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