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Labor market assimilation of immigrants in Spain: employment at the expense of bad job-matches?

  • Cristina Fernández


  • Carolina Ortega


Spain has traditionally been known as a country of emigrants. However, in the last decade, Spain has experienced an unprecedented boom of immigration from three localized areas: Latin America, Africa and East Europe. In this paper, we study the behaviour of recent immigrants in the Spanish labour market identifying the major differences with the native population and tracking whether these differences fade away as their years of residence in Spain increase. With this objective, we focus on four labour market outcomes: labour supply, unemployment, incidence of overeducation and incidence of temporary contracts. Results show that, compared to natives, immigrants face initially higher participation rates, higher unemployment rates, higher incidence of overeducation and higher incidence of temporary contracts. However, five years after their arrival we could broadly say that participation rates start to converge to native rates, unemployment rates decrease to levels even lower than those of natives, and the incidence of temporary contracts and overeducation remains constant: no reduction of the gap with Spanish workers is observed. Therefore, we conclude that the Spanish labour market is managing to absorb the immigration boom but at the expense of allocating immigrants in bad job-matches.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Spanish Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 10 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 83-107

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Handle: RePEc:spr:specre:v:10:y:2008:i:2:p:83-107
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