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Department of Economics, Stockholm University Research Papers in Economics, Department of Economics, Stockholm University

No 2007:6:
Do Domestic Educations Even Out the Playing Field? Ethnic Labor Market Gaps in Sweden

Lena Nekby (), Roger Vilhelmsson () and Gülay Özcan ()

Abstract: The importance of investing in host country-specific human capital such as domestic language proficiency and domestic education is often cited as a determining factor for the labor market success of immigrants. This suggests that entirely domestic educations should even out the playing field providing equal labor market opportunities for natives and immigrants with similar (domestic) educations. This study follows a cohort of students from Swedish compulsory school graduation in 1988 until 2002 in order to document ethnic differences in education, including grades and field of education, and subsequent labor market outcomes. Results indicate both initial differences in youth labor market status and long term differences in employment rates, most notably for those with Non-European backgrounds. Differences in level or field of domestic education cannot explain persistent employment gaps. However, employment gaps are driven by differences among those with secondary school only. No employment or income gaps are found for the university educated.

Keywords: Ethnic minorities; Education; Employment; Discrimination; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: I21; J15; J71; Z13; (follow links to similar papers)

33 pages, May 25, 2007

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