German Microdata Lab

Determinants of Labor Market Positioning of Migrants and Germans and the Measuring of Labor Market Success

To answer the question of why migrants are less successful on the German labor market, from a theoretical perspective, there are two starting points to draw on. On the one side the causes of the ethnic inequality could be dependent on migrants having labor market-relevant resources. Specifically to be considered in this context are the effects of migration on human capital or the accumulation of country-specific capital. Thus, the portion of target country-specific human capital, as well as the utility of country of origin-specific human capital, both have an effect on labor market success. On the other side, the success of migrant workers is also influenced by whether differences exist in the valuation of relevant resources of natives and foreign workers, i.e. whether migrants attain less success due to discriminatory behavior.

How labor market success is measured should also be taken into consideration when looking at this question, as then only a few of the indicators used here are suitable for capturing qualitative differences in labor market positioning.

Granato, N., 2003: Ethnische Ungleichheit auf dem deutschen Arbeitsmarkt. Schriftenreihe des Bundesinstituts für Bevölkerungsforschung, Band 33. Opladen: Leske + Budrich.

Granato,  N.  &  Kalter,  F., 2001: Die Persistenz ethnischer Ungleichheit auf dem deutschen Arbeitsmarkt: Diskriminierung oder Unterinvestition in Humankapital? Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 53 (3): 497-520.