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'Neighbourhood Effects' and 'City Effects': Immigrants' Transition to Employment in Swedish Large City-Regions


  • Hedberg, Charlotta

    () (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)

  • Tammaru, Tiit

    () (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)


An important debate in current research and policy focuses on the role of spatial characteristics and urban residential segregation on the social mobility of immigrants. Much focus has been on ‘neighbourhood effects’, and on how internal spatial variations within the city affects the life careers of immigrants. We add the analysis of variations of labour market incorporation between cities to this discussion, thus following the recent interest of migration scholars on the role of the individual city on immigrants’ labour market performance in the host country. Accordingly, in this study, we analyse the labour market careers of one migrant cohort to Sweden from an urban perspective, where the analysis of ‘neighbourhood effects’ and ‘city effects’ are studied jointly. We use a longitudinal data base derived from Swedish population registers and discrete-time event history analysis with the aim to study immigrant transition to employment in a ten-year period after arrival, and to investigate the correlation between occupational and residential careers. The results show that the migrants’ labour market participation increases slowly over time, and there are large variations between immigrant groups. Migrant origin, gender and education are crucial factors in getting the first job. Both ’neighbourhood effects’ and ‘city effects’ were significant, but the former decreased over time. Accordingly, there was no sign of a ‘downward spiral’ from residing in distressed neighbourhoods. Instead there was a robust ‘city effect’, which we interpret as being influenced by the role of the individual city in the global economy and the city’s local labour market structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Hedberg, Charlotta & Tammaru, Tiit, 2010. "'Neighbourhood Effects' and 'City Effects': Immigrants' Transition to Employment in Swedish Large City-Regions," SULCIS Working Papers 2010:6, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sulcis:2010_006

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    Neighbourhood effects; city effects; newly arrived migrants; labour market entry; Sweden;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population


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