Host-country cultural capital and labour market trajectories of migrants in Germany: The impact of host-country orientation and migrant-specific human and social capital on labour market transitions
The paper investigates effects of host-country orientation and cultural difference of migrants on their socio-economic integration in Germany, using SOEP data for the years 1988-2006. We analyze unemployment and employment durations of male and female migrants, as well as transitions from domestic work to employment for female migrants from Turkey, former Yugoslavia, Greece, Spain and Italy. Given the large gap in unemployment and employment rates between groups of migrants, we look at several economic, human capital and cultural factors in order to test whether migrant-specific characteristics can help to explain ethnic group differences in labour market outcomes, The migrant-specific cultural variables we investigate include host-country language proficiency, interethnic contacts, host-country media consumption, and religiosity. The results indicate that although labour market transitions of migrants strongly depend on the labour market context, host-country orientation and religiosity also have some impact on the labour market integration of individual migrants, especially on transitions into employment of male migrants and married migrant housewives. However; while for most of our cultural variables we find significant effects on the individual level, these factors do not help to clarify the differences among the different migrant groups, which persist at a similar level even after controlling for labour market, general human capital, as well as cultural variables.
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