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(The Struggle for) Refugee Integration into the Labour Market: Evidence from Europe

Author

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  • Francesco Fasani

    (QMUL, CReAM, IZA and CEPR)

  • Tommaso Frattini

    (University of Milan, LdA, CReAM, IZA and CEPR)

  • Luigi Minale

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, CReAM and IZA)

Abstract

In this paper, we use repeated cross-sectional survey data to study the labour market performance of refugees across several EU countries and over time. In the first part, we document that labour market outcomes for refugees are consistently worse than those of other comparable migrants. The gap remains sizeable even after controlling for individual characteristics as well as for cohort and destination country. Refugees are 11.6 percent less likely to have a job and 22.1 percent more likely to be unemployed than migrants with similar characteristics. Moreover, their income, occupational quality and labour market participation are also relatively weaker. This gap persists until about 10 years after immigration. In the second part, we assess the role of asylum policies in explaining the observed refugee gap. We conduct a difference-in-differences analysis that exploits the differential timing of dispersal policy enactment across European countries: we show that refugee cohorts exposed to these policies have persistently worse labour market outcomes. Further, we find that entry cohorts admitted when refugee status recognition rates are relatively high integrate better into the host country labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Fasani & Tommaso Frattini & Luigi Minale, 2018. "(The Struggle for) Refugee Integration into the Labour Market: Evidence from Europe," Development Working Papers 435, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:435
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    Cited by:

    1. Ludovica Gambaro & Guido Neidhöfer & C. Katharina Spieß, 2019. "The Effect of Early Childhood Education and Care Services on the Social Integration of Refugee Families," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1828, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Sharp, Paul, 2020. "Is there a Refugee Gap? Evidence from Over a Century of Danish Naturalizations," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 506, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    3. Azlor, Luz & Damm, Anna Piil & Schultz-Nielsen, Marie Louise, 2020. "Local labour demand and immigrant employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    4. Lu, Frances & Siddiqui, Sameem & Bharadwaj, Prashant, 2021. "Marriage outcomes of displaced women," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
    5. repec:boc:pcon20:7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Joakim Ruist, 2020. "The fiscal aspect of the refugee crisis," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(2), pages 478-492, April.
    7. Fasani, Francesco & Frattini, Tommaso & Minale, Luigi, 2020. "Lift the Ban? Initial Employment Restrictions and Refugee Labour Market Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 14765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Battisti, Michele & Giesing, Yvonne & Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya, 2019. "Can job search assistance improve the labour market integration of refugees? Evidence from a field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    9. Nadiya Ukrayinchuk & Olena Havrylchyk, 2020. "Living in limbo: Economic and social costs for refugees," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1523-1551, November.
    10. Amior, Michael, 2018. "The contribution of foreign migration to local labor market adjustment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 91705, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Effrosyni Adamopoulou & Ezgi Kaya, 2020. "Not just a work permit: EU citizenship and the consumption behaviour of documented and undocumented immigrants," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(4), pages 1552-1598, November.
    12. Braun, Sebastian T. & Dwenger, Nadja, 2020. "Settlement location shapes the integration of forced migrants: Evidence from post-war Germany⁎," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    13. Daams, Michiel N. & Proietti, Paola & Veneri, Paolo, 2019. "The effect of asylum seeker reception centers on nearby house prices: Evidence from The Netherlands," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C).
    14. Peri, Giovanni & Rutledge, Zachariah, 2020. "Revisiting Economic Assimilation of Mexican and Central Americans Immigrants in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 12976, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Stefan Jestl & Michael Landesmann & Sebastian Leitner & Barbara Wanek-Zajic, 2019. "Employment Gaps Between Refugees, Migrants and Natives: Evidence from Austrian Register Based Labour Market Data," wiiw Working Papers 167, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    16. Anders, Jake & Burgess, Simon & Portes, Jonathan, 2018. "The Long-Term Outcomes of Refugees: Tracking the Progress of the East African Asians," IZA Discussion Papers 11609, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Jacob Nielsen Arendt & Iben Bolvig & Mette Foged & Linea Hasager & Giovanni Peri, 2020. "Language Training and Refugees' Integration," NBER Working Papers 26834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Jacob Nielsen Arendt & Iben Bolvig & Mette Foged & Linea Hasager & Giovanni Peri, 2021. "Language Training and Refugees’ Integration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2104, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asylum seekers; assimilation; refugee gap; asylum policies.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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