Patterns and determinants of immigrant labor market exit

Project title

Patterns and determinants of immigrant labor market exit

Project summary

The debate about immigrant-native labor market differentials typically focuses on the labor market entry of the recently arrived and the subsequent integration process. Much less attention has been paid to exit and retirement, even though theory, aggregate statistics and international experience indicate differences between natives and the foreign-born. This project aims at new insights on the labor market exit of immigrants, its development over time and how various factors affect differences to the native population.

The project will first document exit patterns from the early 1970s until today. During this time, the structure of the labor market has changed in parallel with altered characteristics of immigration to Sweden. A second step is to seek explanations to the patterns, e.g. the design of the pension and social insurance systems, individual labor market positions, and workplace related factors. The project will use register data where it is possible to follow individuals over the course of the working life and investigate differences by e.g. gender and country of origin. With rich data on earnings, employment and employer characteristics, the analyses can identify factors related to exits, and whether they can explain differences across groups. Studies using Swedish reforms and labor market information from other countries will further our understanding of how retirement decisions are affected by economic incentives and factors related to the country of origin.

Differences in labor market exit affect individual situations, but can also be important for the macroeconomic consequences of immigration. Improved knowledge about the sources of the patterns provides opportunities for designing systems and policies for decreased origin and gender inequality.

Project duration


Main applicant

Olof Åslund  


Lisa Laun, IFAU



Amount received

SEK 4 030 000

Last modified: 2021-03-09