Ethnic Penalty in Europe from a Regional Perspective: Natives, Migrants and the Trade-off Model of Labour Market Integration

Maurizio Avola , University of Catania
Giorgio Piccitto, Bocconi University
Federico Vegetti, University of Milan

The debate on ethnic penalty into the labour market, in terms both of professional status and job quality, has been particularly intense in Europe in recent years. Beyond the individual dimension, some studies have emphasized also the macro-institutional one, taking into consideration some key characteristics to define the national or supra-national level (welfare regimes, models of capitalisms, strictness of employment regulation, migration policies) as relevant factors in determining the extent and characteristics of ethnic penalty. However, recent studies adopting a regional perspective have shown that within the same institutional context different models of labour market integration and penalization of immigrants can coexist, suggesting the relevance of the local or meso-institutional dimension. This study aims to verify to what extent the ethnic penalty is associated with meso-level factors, exploring the relevance of some characteristics of the labour market structure at regional level on the gap in the occupational achievement between migrants and natives. In particular, we hypothesize that a wider extent of the secondary labour market would reduce the risk of penalization for immigrants in terms of probability of being employed, but it would increase the penalization in terms of probability of having a bad job (trade-off effect). Preliminary results confirm our hypothesis, also if during the Great Recession something change.

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 Presented in Session 66. Immigrants' Socio-Economic Trajectories