Patterns of Legalisation and Immigrant Labour Market Outcomes: The Italian Case

Rocco Molinari , Università di Bologna
Roberto Impicciatore, Università di Bologna
Livia Ortensi, Università degli Studi di Milano - Bicocca

This work explores the role of migration policies in shaping immigrant labour market outcomes, as one sphere of their integration, and focuses on Italy, a country that in last decades has implemented many extraordinary programs of legalisation, while facing growing migratory inflows. There still is a substantial lack of empirical evidence in favour of or against the effectiveness of regularisation programmes as well as the relevance of the undocumented status on subsequent integration trajectories. In this paper, we aim at giving evidence about the patterns of legalisation experienced by international third-country national immigrants in Italy and the potential impact on occupational outcomes through the Istat survey Social Condition and Integration of Foreign Citizens (SCIF). This survey, conducted in 2011-12, allows identifying immigrants who received a residency permit through amnesties and to assess the time-frame of their illegal stay in Italy. Our preliminary findings suggest that undocumented immigrants on entry are more likely to participate in the labour market but they are penalized in terms of professional qualification. The penalization tends to be stronger as the length of the initial undocumented spell increases. Among those who experienced an undocumented period, having obtained the first residence permit through a mass regularization (sanatoria) tends to be strengthened. Indeed, this pattern is linked to a higher risk of being employed but a lower propensity to reach a qualified profession with higher ISEI.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy