How to Integrate the Newly Arrived Refugees into the Labour Market? an Evaluation of the Three Year Danish Integration Programme
The European countries experience the largest migration flow since World War II with least a million refugees expected to arrive in 2015. Consequently, policy makers face the challenge of how to integrate these newcomers into the labour market. The scientific literature provides limited knowledge about the effect of policies and integration programmes (UNHCR, 2013). Most previous studies focus on how general institutional features (e.g. immigration policy, welfare and labour market institutions) influence the labour market outcomes of immigrants, while few evaluate the effect of specific policies (for an overview see Diop-Christensen, 2014). To the best of our knowledge, of the latter type of studies, only Rosholm and Vejlin (2010) focus specifically on the group of refugees (see also UNHCR, 2013).
This paper contributes to filling this knowledge gap by investigating the effect of different integration measures for newly arrived refugees in Denmark. More specially, refugees in Denmark participate in a three year integration programme, which should aid their labour market transition. However, the programme varies widely in content because the implementation is decentralised to 98 municipalities. In a first step, we identify the specific nature of this variation by conducting a survey in all Danish municipalities. This information will be used for constructing variables (e.g. the use of internship in firms, focus on transferring educational qualification). Secondly, we analyse the effect of these variables on the duration until the refugees make a transition to the first job using Danish administrative data.
Rosholm, M. & Vejlin, R. (2010): ‘Reducing income transfers to refugee immigrants: Does start-help help you start?’, Labour Economics, Vol. 17, Issue 1.
UNHCR (2013): The labour market integration of resettled refugees. Geneva: UNHCR.
Diop-Christensen (2014): The Effect of Welfare and Labour Market Institutions on the Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in Europe. Ph.D. dissertation, Aalborg University.