The role of firms in explaining immigrant and native labour market outcomes

What is the aim of the research project?

This project studies the role of firms in explaining wage- and income differences between immigrants and natives. More generally, it sheds light on how structural change and labour market institutions affect immigration, integration and labour market outcomes of immigrants and natives.

The place of work is important in explaining wages and wage inequality on the labour market as a whole (see e.g. Song et al 2019). We know relatively little, however, about the role of firms for immigrant’s labour market outcomes, including whether changes to firms over time have affected natives and immigrants differently. The types of questions that the project aims to answer include, what is the role of firm-specific pay premiums in explaining immigrants’ and natives’ wages and wage growth? How and why have these changed over time? Do immigrant-native wage gaps vary over the firm lifecycle? Have firms become more specialised and, if so, has it become harder or easier for immigrants and natives to climb the job ladder? Do different institutional factors mediate immigrant-native wage gaps? The project is complementary to earlier literature on the economic assimilation of immigrants, which instead focuses on whether the native-immigrant wage gap closes with years spent in the host country.

Research team

Olof Åslund

Cristina Bratu

Stefano Lombardi

Anna Thoresson

Last modified: 2023-02-20