Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers in Economics,
University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

No 696: Outmigration and income assimilation during the first post-EU-enlargement migrants’ first decade in Sweden

Joakim Ruist ()
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Joakim Ruist: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O. Box 640, SE 40530 GÖTEBORG, Sweden

Abstract: This study follows a random sample of 20% of the earliest post-EU-enlargement immigrants during their first decade in Sweden, studying their patterns of outmigration and income assimilation. The results show that outmigration is low: around 80% appear to be still present in Sweden during the full year 2013. Annual outmigration probabilities are near zero among migrants that earned an income that was at least high enough to live on in the previous year. Those leaving Sweden are thus mostly “failed migrants”, who did not manage to provide for themselves. Early income is far higher for male than for female migrants, with most females who live in couples initially earning zero income. Yet after less than one decade the gender gap in income is not larger than that in the total Swedish population of similar ages. Together with female migrants being better educated when migrating, this indicates strong male dominance in the migration decision, yet mostly so in the short term: For migration to happen, the short-term job opportunities of the male partner, and the longer-term prospects of the female, both needed to be favorable.

Keywords: EU enlargement; migration; outmigration; income assimilation; family migration

JEL-codes: F22; J61

34 pages, March 2017

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