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Foreign nationality and age: A double drawback for reemployment in Germany?


  • Bruder, Jana
  • Frosch, Katharina


We analyze reemployment prospects for Germans and non-Germans over the life course. Older foreigners may experience a double drawback due to health issues, discrimination or differences in occupational structure. This effect might be alleviated by accumulation of country-specific skills over time and selectivity effects. We apply a piecewise-constant hazard rate model on more than 270.000 unemployment episodes drawn from the social insurance register for male employees aged 25 to 65 years between 1975 to 2001. Foreign nationality lowers reemployment prospects by 7 percentage points. On average, the effect of aging on reemployment is stronger for non-Germans. The effect of nationality differs strongly between nationalities and ranges from minus 17 percentage points for Greeks up to plus 5 percentage points for people from Ex-Yugoslavia. Aging is particularly a problem for foreigners from Greece and Turkey: Until age 60, their prospects for reemployment are, on average, about 27 percent below that of natives.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruder, Jana & Frosch, Katharina, 2006. "Foreign nationality and age: A double drawback for reemployment in Germany?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 63, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:roswps:63

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas Bauer & Mathias Sinning, 2011. "The savings behavior of temporary and permanent migrants in Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 421-449, April.
    2. Petrongolo, Barbara, 2001. "Reemployment Probabilities and Returns to Matching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 716-741, July.
    3. Arne Uhlendorff & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2014. "Unemployment Dynamics among Migrants and Natives," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(322), pages 348-367, April.
    4. Elke Lüdemann & Ralf Wilke & Xuan Zhang, 2006. "Censored quantile regressions and the length of unemployment periods in West Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 1003-1024, November.
    5. Victoria Buesch & Svenn-Age Dahl & Dennis A.V. Dittrich, 2004. "Age Discrimination in Hiring Decisions - A Comparison of Germany and Norway," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-14, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    6. Frosch, Katharina, 2006. "Reemployment rates over the life course: Is there still hope after late career job loss?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 64, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    7. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
    8. Günter Lang, 2005. "The difference between wages and wage potentials: Earnings disadvantages of immigrants in Germany," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 3(1), pages 21-42, April.
    9. Geoffrey Carliner, 1982. "The Wages of Older Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 25-38.
    10. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Düzgün, Ismail & Weiss, Matthias, 2005. "Altern und Produktivität: Zum Stand der Forschung," MEA discussion paper series 05073, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
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    Cited by:

    1. Achatz, Juliane & Trappmann, Mark, 2011. "Arbeitsmarktvermittelte Abgänge aus der Grundsicherung : der Einfluss von personen- und haushaltsgebundenen Barrieren," IAB Discussion Paper 201102, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Frosch, Katharina, 2006. "Reemployment rates over the life course: Is there still hope after late career job loss?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 64, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item


    labor migration; aging workforce; reemployment; proportional hazard rate models; demographic change;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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