Working Paper No. 138. Immigrants’ Attitudes towards Redistribution

PublikationWorking paper
Andreas Bergh, Attityd, Företagandets villkor, Günther Fink, Migration, Välfärd
Working Paper No. 138.
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Using data from the World Value Survey we examine first and second generation immigrants’ attitudes towards income inequality and redistribution. We find that first generation immigrants are on average less favorable to redistribution compared to non-immigrants. This effect is particularly pronounced in the Nordic welfare states, while in residual welfare states immigrants have stronger preferences for more government involvement, but not necessarily towards more redistribution. We find only marginal differences for second generation immigrants, suggesting a rather rapid adaptation of local norms and political preferences.

Bergh, A. & Fink, G. (2009). Immigrants’ Attitudes towards Redistribution: Implications for the Welfare State. Ratio Working Paper No. 138.

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Hatzigeorgiou, A. & Lodefalk, M.



Protectionism and anti-globalization tides have been rising already before the COVID-19 pandemic, with Brexit and the China-U.S. trade war, as two examples. A continued disruption to global trade, investment and value chains could worsen global development. Economic recovery will require restoring firms’ ability to trade, offshore and invest globally. To achieve this, it will be useful to understand the role of migration for foreign trade, investment and other aspects of internationalization. In this paper we review and discuss over 100 papers published about migrants’ roles on international trade, foreign direct investment and offshoring. Although the evidence suggests that migration facilitates trade and internationalization, we also note substantial gaps and inconsistencies in the existing literature. The aim of this paper is to encourage further research and assist policymakers in their efforts to promote economic recovery including internationalization.

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Scandinavia: Refugees at work
Joyce, P.


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Germany was the top destination country by far for refugees arriving in the years between 2014 and 2017. But much-smaller Sweden received more asylum applications in relation to its population. The other two Scandinavian countries – Norway and Denmark – also saw significant numbers of asylum seekers in relation to their small populations. Since then, Scandinavian countries have turned to the sizable task of integrating new arrivals into the labour market. Refugees have struggled to find work in the Scandinavian countries. Figure 1 shows the employment rate (per cent) among adult refugees in Sweden, Denmark and Norway by years after arrival in the host country. As shown in Figure 1 only between 20 and 35 per cent of male refugees are working two years after arrival. The share in work increases with each year after arrival but employment generally plateaus after ten to fifteen years, significantly below the employment rate among the overall population. Female refugees need more time than males to find work. They usually have less schooling than their male counterparts and often bear children after arrival.48 Employment among female refugees picks up after some time though.

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