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Will I see you at work? Ethnic workplace segregation in Sweden 1985–2002




We study ethnic workplace segregation in Sweden using linked employer-employee data covering the entire working-age Swedish population during 1985–2002. Segregation is measured as overexposure to a particular group, taking into account the distribution of human capital, industry and geography. We find considerable workplace segregation between immigrants and natives but the results differ substantially between ethnic groups. Segregation has increased during the period, mainly due to changes in the ethnic composition. Immigrants are particularly overexposed to workers from their own birth region but also to other immigrants. Children to immigrants are only overexposed to immigrants from their parents region of birth. Segregation—particularly in the immigrant-native dimension—is in general negatively correlated with economic status.

Suggested Citation

  • Åslund, Olof & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2005. "Will I see you at work? Ethnic workplace segregation in Sweden 1985–2002," Working Paper Series 2005:24, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2005_024

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2008. "Workplace Segregation in the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Skill," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 459-477, August.
    2. Bayer, Patrick & Fang, Hanming & McMillan, Robert, 2014. "Separate when equal? Racial inequality and residential segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 32-48.
    3. Gilles Saint-Paul, 2001. "On the Distribution of Income and Worker Assignment under Intrafirm Spillovers, with an Application to Ideas and Networks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 1-37, February.
    4. Kevin Lang & William T. Dickens, 1987. "Neoclassical and Sociological Perspectives on Segmented Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 2127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P., 2000. "LINDA - Longitudinal INdividual DAta for Sweden," Papers 2000:19, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    6. Nekby, Lena, 2002. "How Long Does it Take to Integrate? Employment Convergence of Immigrants and Natives in Sweden," Working Paper Series 185, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Alireza Behtoui, 2004. "Unequal Opportunities for Young People with Immigrant Backgrounds in the Swedish Labour Market," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 18(4), pages 633-660, December.
    8. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 1999. "Why Are Racial And Ethnic Wage Gaps Larger For Men Than For Women? Exploring The Role Of Segregation Using The New Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database," Labor and Demography 9902002, EconWPA.
    9. Carrington, William J & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "On Measuring Segregation in Samples with Small Units," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(4), pages 402-409, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Uta Schönberg & Herbert Brücker, 2016. "Referral-based Job Search Networks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 514-546.
    2. Glitz, Albrecht, 2014. "Ethnic segregation in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 28-40.
    3. Åslund, Olof & Böhlmark, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Age at migration and social integration," Working Paper Series 2009:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    4. Olof Åslund & Lena Hensvik & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2014. "Seeking Similarity: How Immigrants and Natives Manage in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 405-441.

    More about this item


    Workplace segregation; ethnic minorities; immigrant assimilation;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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