Immigrants' returns to host country labor market experience

Project title

Immigrants' returns to host country labor market experience

Project summary

This project studies how actual labor market experience from the host country relates to wages, earnings and employment probabilities among immigrants to Sweden. Experience is a key component in economic models of the determinants of individual outcomes in the labor market. Lack of relevant experience is also a commonly proposed explanation to slow integration of the recently arrived and persistent economic inequalities between immigrants and natives. Yet, there is still limited knowledge on immigrants’ economic returns to actual host country labor market experience.

This project will employ various statistical methods on very rich register data to further our understanding. It will study the overall role of experience and how it has developed over five decades. This is particularly relevant given the structural changes in the economy and the simultaneous shift from labor to humanitarian and family related migration. The project will also characterize and analyze the detailed contents of individual experiences. We can thereby learn if e.g. experience from some types of industries and occupations and in different career stages is more relevant than others, and how this varies between workers of e.g. different origin, gender and education. The findings will shed light on fundamental mechanisms in the functioning of the labor market. They will also provide relevant information for shaping policies aimed at improving the situation of economically marginalized groups.

Project duration


Main applicant

Olof Åslund  


Mattias Engdahl, IFAU



Amount received

SEK 4 000 000

Last modified: 2021-03-09