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Migrant labor in the Norwegian petroleum sector


  • Bernt Bratsberg

    (Frisch Centre)

  • Oddbjørn Raaum

    (Frisch Centre)

  • Ole Rogeberg

    (Frisch Centre)


Drawing on comprehensive sets of administrative register data, we examine employment and pay structures in the Norwegian petroleum sector between 1992 and 2013, with a particular emphasis on foreign workers. The period covers a number of important changes taking place, with rising oil prices and growing investments during the 2000s and a large influx of labor migrants into Norwegian labor markets following the 2004 expansion of the European Union. Relative to foreign workers in other private‐sector industries, we find that the petroleum sector is characterized by greater use of posted workers, a higher occupational skill mix of immigrants, and, for those in skilled occupations, wages on par with native workers. Migrant petroleum workers have shorter durations in the country than other migrants, and the data reveal only modest job mobility to other industries, particularly among high‐skilled workers. Nonetheless, the evidence points to spillover effects from the petroleum sector as workers who move on to jobs in mainland industries earn a wage premium relative to those without petroleum experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernt Bratsberg & Oddbjørn Raaum & Ole Rogeberg, 2017. "Migrant labor in the Norwegian petroleum sector," Development Working Papers 420, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:420

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ragnhild Balsvik, 2011. "Is Labor Mobility a Channel for Spillovers from Multinationals? Evidence from Norwegian Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 285-297, February.
    2. Michel Beine & Serge Coulombe & Wessel N. Vermeulen, 2015. "Dutch Disease and the Mitigation Effect of Migration: Evidence from Canadian Provinces," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 1574-1615, December.
    3. Michel Beine & Serge Coulombe & Wessel N. Vermeulen, 2015. "Dutch Disease and the Mitigation Effect of Migration: Evidence from Canadian Provinces," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 1574-1615, December.
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