Frank Kalter, Irena Kogan
Ethnic Inequalities at Labour Market Entry in Belgium and Spain

Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung: Arbeitspapiere; 49
ISSN: 1437-8574

While the labour market integration of immigrant youth has increasingly received attention in recent years, due to the lack of appropriate data comparative studies are scarce until now and theoretical reasons for persistence of ethnic disadvantages often remain unclear. In this paper we try to enhance the understanding of ethnic inequalities making use of a new dataset made available by Eurostat, the European Union Labour Force Survey (EULFS) 2000 ad hoc module on school-to-work transitions. Using longitudinal information on labour market entry and event history techniques we try to disentangle several mechanisms leading to ethnic disadvantages and to compare their empirical relevance between Belgium and Spain. Most importantly, it can be shown that non-EU youth are disadvantaged with respect to higher status jobs in both countries. While in Belgium this seems to be mainly due to inferior educational qualifications and labour market discrimination, in Spain in addition to labour market discrimination a notable self-selection process seems to take place. Besides this central finding the paper contains detailed analyses on access to medium and lower status jobs as well as on the general transition patterns from school to work in both countries.