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Funding for project on economic assimilation of immigrants arriving from highly developed countries


Christer Lundh, Professor in Economic History at the University of Gothenburg (GU) will during one year conduct research on the economic assimilation of immigrants arriving from highly developed countries, along with Yitchak Haberfeld, Professor in Labour Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel. Yitchak Haberfeld was earlier at the School of Business, Economics and Law, (GU) as a Visiting Professor. The project is an international cooperation, and is an example of how VPP provides spin-offs.

The project title is "Economic assimilation of immigrants arriving from highly-developed countries: The case of German immigrants in Sweden and the US", and financed by funds from the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU).


Selective migration is a highly relevant issue, both in social science research and for policy makers, as selective patterns of migration influence immigrants' economic performance on the one hand, and signals on the return to skills and the features of labor market institutions of the potential receiving country influence the ‘quality’ of future immigrants on the other.

The purpose of the project is to evaluate the interplay between the effect of host countries characteristics and immigrants' self-selection patterns on their economic assimilation. The design builds on situations similar to "natural experiments": looking at immigrants originated from one country (Germany), during the same period (1990 – 2000) to two different destination countries (Sweden and the US). We plan on studying four groups of German immigrants – as derived from the interaction between immigrants' gender (men/ women) and immigrants' skills (high/ low education). Such a design will allow us to better assess the contribution of the highly-developed Western counties' attributes to the integration of well-trained and highly-skilled immigrants. We use individual-level data from a 5 percent sample of the US census 2000 and a 3 percent sample of the 2005/7 American Community Survey, and register data for Sweden in 2000 and 2005.