Irena Kogan
Skill Production Regimes and Immigrant Labor Market Integration

Pp. 1-14 in: Robert A. Scott, Marlis C. Buchmann (Eds.): Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource. 2017. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley

In recent years, Western countries have been experiencing a significant increase in both humanitarian and economic immigration. With the number of migrants, the challenges of integration have also surged. In consequence, host countries have invested a considerable amount of resources in comprehensive and effective immigrant integration policies. Various integration measures, such as foreign credential recognition or education and (re-)training, have been implemented to help immigrants with their transition into the host country's labor market. The success of such policies, we argue, depends not only on their extent and coverage but also on whether they are compatible with other institutional characteristics of the host countries. This contribution hence asks to what extent host countries' immigrant integration policies aligned with these countries' skill production regimes channel immigrants into the labor market and consequently are responsible for the cross-national differences in immigrants' economic integration. We expect that immigrants, particularly those with a less marketable status (e.g., refugees or asylum seekers), should have higher incentives to acquire host-country-specific education or to have their source country education recognized in countries that lay a stronger emphasis on highly specific vocational skills. They also should have higher labor market returns on their investments in countries with more vocationally oriented education systems (such as in Germany and Austria) as opposed to countries with more generally oriented education systems (such as Ireland and the United Kingdom).