How status matters? Economic integration and citizenship inclusion

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from: 11:30
to: 13:00

Join us for the next session of the Migration Working Group with these presentations:


The occupational attainment and career progression of Iraqi immigrants admitted under different categories in Sweden by Julie Fournier, PhD researcher, Department of political and social sciences (EUI)

Discussant: Henrik Emilsson, Malmö University


How does the category of admission influence the occupational attainments and trajectories of immigrants? Besides their primarily selective aim, categories of admission (e.g. refugee, labour immigrant and family reunion) also come with different rights and opportunities once immigrants have settled at destination. Using detailed longitudinal data from the Migrant Trajectory collection of the Swedish registry and growth-curve analysis, I compare the occupational attainments and progression of Iraqis admitted between 2001-2015 in Sweden across category-of-admission groups. Results show that Iraqi immigrants generally start working in unskilled to skilled manual worker occupations and experience very limited progression. Labour immigrants, who need a job contract to be admitted, enter the labour market at a lower occupational level than refugees and their family. Their trajectory then stagnates during the first four years in Sweden while their residence permit remains conditional on being employed. Temporary and conditional permits thus appear to impede occupational progression. The categorical distinctions drawn based on the initial context of migration therefore durably ease the labour market integration of certain groups while hampering the process for others.


Conditional support of birthright citizenship for immigrants’ children despite partisan differences by Victoria Donnaloja, Max Weber Fellow (EUI)

Discussant: Eroll Kuhn, Max Weber Fellow (EUI)


Whether the children of immigrants should be granted citizenship based on their birth in the country has been much debated across continental Europe, where citizenship is traditionally attributed at birth through descent only. While political opposition to such inclusive measures rests on assumed electoral opposition, public attitudes on this question remain remarkably underexplored. In this paper we draw on evidence from a choice-based conjoint survey experiment in Italy, a European country with a longstanding political debate on how to address the inclusion gap concerning over one million children of immigrants without Italian citizenship. We test pre-registered expectations derived from sociological and economic theories on attitudes to immigration by investigating which parental characteristics make granting citizenship at birth to children more acceptable and how attitudes vary by political background, education and age-category of respondents. The results indicate that public attitudes on this policy issue are influenced by both ascriptive and performative characteristics of migrant families and vary by respondents’ partisan background. Yet, overall, there is conditional support for birthright citizenship, suggesting that minimal policy reform is less controversial than sometimes assumed.


Chair: Ophelia Nicole-Berva, PhD researcher, Department of Political and Social Sciences (EUI)