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Who opposes immigrants’ integration into the labor market? The Swiss case

Summary

First, we spell out a political-economy model, based on segmented labor markets, which explains why a guest-worker system is preferred to a non-discriminatory immigration regime and why measures to improve the integration of low-skill immigrants tend to be opposed subsequently. The model also predicts that attitudes towards the integration of immigrants are positively related to education. Second, we examine the empirical evidence on attitudes towards the integration of immigrants. Our findings from Swiss data are consistent with the prediction of the theoretical model. Both economic and non-economic factors seem to matter in the positive relationship between attitudes and education.

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The authors would like to thank Jaime de Melo and Florence Miguet for stimulating comments. Financial support by the TOM (“Transnationality of Migrants”) Marie-Curie Research and Training Network is gratefully acknowledged.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Müller, T., Tai, S.H.T. Who opposes immigrants’ integration into the labor market? The Swiss case. Swiss J Economics Statistics 146, 741–767 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399335

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399335

JEL-Classification

  • F22
  • J61
  • D72

Keywords

  • immigration
  • immigrant integration
  • guest-workers
  • political economy