Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Socioeconomic Cleavages between Workers from New Member States and Host-country Labour Forces in the EU during the Great Recession

Guzi, Martin and Kahanec, Martin (2015): Socioeconomic Cleavages between Workers from New Member States and Host-country Labour Forces in the EU during the Great Recession. Published in: London: Routledge (2015): pp. 97-121.

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Although there is consensus in the literature that immigrants generally adjust in terms of their labour market status the more time they spend in the host country (Chiswick, 1978; Borjas, 1985; Kahanec and Zaiceva, 2009), the economic crisis that struck Europe shortly after the 2004 and 2007 EU enlargements, referred to in this chapter as the Great Recession, may have stalled or even reversed such adjustment processes. In addition, the significant increase in east-west mobility may have changed the nature of labour market competition in the receiving labour markets or have had consequences for the process of adjustment. East-west mobility within the EU may have interacted with inflows of non-EU migrants, resulting in heightened competition in the labour market (Biavaschi and Zimmermann, 2014; Marchetti et al., 2014). These effects could vary across different aspects of the market, such as labour market participation, employment and its quality, or the incidence of self-employment. This chapter provides a comprehensive perspective on labour market cleavages between migrants from new EU member states and natives in old EU member states for the period following the EU enlargements of 2004 and 2007 and during the Great Recession. It thus sheds light on how post-enlargement mobility, interacting with the consequences of the downturn, has affected the social fabric in the receiving countries. The chapter is structured as follows. In the first section, we discuss the main patterns and factors of immigrant integration in Europe. We then focus on post-enlargement migration and the integration of migrants from new EU member states in the old EU member states before and during the crisis. The methodology for measuring immigrant-native gaps and the data we use are outlined in the following sections. Finally, we measure immigrant-native labour market gaps, distinguishing between the part attributable to differences in the characteristics of the two groups and the cleavages resulting from unobservable factors.

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