Immigrants’ Career Changes in German Organizations

Research question/goal: 

This project investigates migrants’ career trajectories over their working lives. Although it is well known that migrants fare economically worse than natives, the mechanisms are not well understood for all points of their careers. Studies show that foreign educational and professional qualifications tend to be falsely recognized, downgraded, or not recognized. However, migrants who find employment enter organizations that subsequently allow them to acquire firm- and occupation-specific skills and knowledge. This project takes a career-focused approach that aims to scrutinize the degree to which these competencies aid migrants’ economic integration. It will examine migrants’ job transitions from both individual and organizational perspectives. First, it analyses migrants’ labour market access from the firm side by using data containing information on job vacancies, job postings, and the firm-specific hiring processes. Second, it uses the Linked-Employer-Employee-Data of the IAB (LIAB), a panel dataset, to analyse individual career changes within and between establishments. This approach captures the effect of individual-level traits such as education, age, gender, and prior working experience along with firm-level traits such as firm age, industry, size, and structure, asking how each of these affects migrants’ work trajectories. This project has implications for the integration of immigrants, organizational strategies, and the larger economy.

Current stage: 

The project team has defined innovative measures for work trajectories and organizational structures in the Linked Employer–Employee Dataset of the Institute for Employment Research (LIAB) and is currently evaluating them. Following several rounds of revisions to accommodate the specificities from different segments and dimensions of the German labour market, the current step focusses on a comparative analysis of four areas of work. The preliminary analyses were discussed in several workshops. Taking into account the feedback from those debates, the project will produce the first set of manuscripts.

Fact sheet

2019 to 2025
Data Sources: 
Linked-Employer-Employee-Data of the IAB
Geographic Space: