It's Discrimination, Stupid: Labour Market (Re-) Entry Difficulties Among Different Immigrant Groups in Switzerland 2015

NCCR-on the move, working paper series No. 2, 2015

30 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2016

See all articles by Daniel Auer

Daniel Auer

WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Giuliano Bonoli

University of Lausanne - Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration

Flavia Fossati

University of Lausanne

Date Written: May 19, 2015

Abstract

We start from the empirical observation that unemployed migrants from Africa and Ex-Yugoslavia have more difficulties when trying to re-enter the labour market as compared to migrants from Portugal. Based on a unique dataset of newly unemployed individuals in the Swiss Canton of Vaud, we set out to analyse the reasons for the large difference in the length of unemployment spells by testing the most important theoretical approaches of employability proposed in the literature. First, we analyse whether differences at the level of individual resources explain differences in outcome (human capital). Second, we test how the size of the social network influences the likelihood of finding employment (social capital). Third, we account for motivation, effort and job search strategies (proactive search behaviour). Eventually, we controlled for individual wellbeing as a potential driver of unemployment duration but we found no evidence that these different factors are able to explain the underperformance of Ex-Yugoslavian and African respondents. Our conclusion is that discriminatory patterns related to nationality are at least in part responsible for the substantial disadvantage of these groups and we explain it by referring to the diffusion of negative stereotypes about specific immigrant communities in the public sphere.

Keywords: unemployment, immigration, discrimination

JEL Classification: J70, J61

Suggested Citation

Auer, Daniel and Bonoli, Giuliano and Fossati, Flavia, It's Discrimination, Stupid: Labour Market (Re-) Entry Difficulties Among Different Immigrant Groups in Switzerland 2015 (May 19, 2015). NCCR-on the move, working paper series No. 2, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2750646 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2750646

Daniel Auer (Contact Author)

WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.daniel-auer.com

Giuliano Bonoli

University of Lausanne - Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration ( email )

R.te de la Maladière 21
Chavannes-Renens, CH-1022
Switzerland

Flavia Fossati

University of Lausanne ( email )

Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

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