The effect of migration policies in Sweden on the integration of immigants, human capital accumulation and education decisions

Author: Alex Solis, And Björn Öckert, And

Dnr: 55/2017

With over 16% of the population born abroad, Sweden is a very ethnically diverse country. Unfortunately, it is also a country where the immigrant-native differential in the labour market is among the largest. Both from the policy evaluation point of view and for the academic interest in the determinants of these differences, it is essential to gain a deeper understanding of how migrants integrate.

This project studies how migrants integrate in Swedish society in terms of education, labour market outcomes and marriage. We will use Swedish register data on migrants who arrived in the previous decades and follow them until today. We will describe how their educational decisions have changed over different cohorts – considering both the offspring of migrants and new immigrants –, how their labour market performance has changed and to what extent migrants have been able to catch up with natives over time. Then, we will extend our scope to consider the marriage market outcomes of migrants. Being able to form a family is important because it may facilitate the integration process in the host country, and can have large economic consequences through the income of the spouse, as Goldin (1992) shows for the United States.