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Economic Integration of Intermarried Labour Migrants, Refugees and Family Migrants to Sweden: Premium or Selection?

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  • Irastorza, Nahikari

    () (Malmö University)

  • Bevelander, Pieter

    () (Malmö University)

Abstract

We use Swedish register data to compare the employment and income of immigrants who intermarry natives versus those of immigrants who intramarry other immigrants in Sweden. We conduct the same analyses on three subsamples: labour migrants, refugees and family migrants. We find that intermarried immigrants outperformed intramarried ones in employment rates and salaries before and after marriage, in 1997 and 2007 respectively, and the same in true for each of the three subsamples analyzed. There is a statistically significant difference in income growth between intermarried and intramarried immigrants within that time period, but this difference is only significant for the subsample of family migrants. Finally, the upward mobility in employment status between 1997 and 2007 is higher for intermarried immigrants than for intramarried ones, with this being also the case for each of the three groups of labour migrants, refugees and family migrants. Our findings provide evidence to support both the selection hypothesis and the intermarriage premium hypothesis for the whole group of immigrants to Sweden. They also fully support the selection hypothesis for labour and family migrants but only partially for refugees; whereas they fully confirm the intermarriage premium hypothesis for family migrants but only partially for refugees and labour migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Irastorza, Nahikari & Bevelander, Pieter, 2014. "Economic Integration of Intermarried Labour Migrants, Refugees and Family Migrants to Sweden: Premium or Selection?," IZA Discussion Papers 8065, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8065
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Xin Meng & Dominique Meurs, 2009. "Intermarriage, language, and economic assimilation process: A case study of France," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(1/2), pages 127-144, March.
    2. Martin Nordin & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2009. "The Ethnic Employment and Income Gap in Sweden: Is Skill or Labor Market Discrimination the Explanation?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(3), pages 487-510, September.
    3. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
    4. Nekby, Lena, 2010. "Inter- and Intra-Marriage Premiums Revisited: It’s probably who you are, not who you marry!," SULCIS Working Papers 2010:12, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
    5. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-727, September.
    6. Pieter Bevelander & Ravi Pendakur, 2012. "The labour market integration of refugee and family reunion immigrants: A comparison of outcomes in Canada and Sweden," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012041, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rosa Weber, 2015. "Does intermarriage change migrants’ preferences for the home country?," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-21, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic integration; binational couples; immigrants; intermarriage premium; Sweden;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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