Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2017:18: Organized interests and foreign-educated professionals: The case of the associations for physicians and nurses in Sweden

Olle Jansson ()
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Olle Jansson: Department of Economic History, Uppsala University, Postal: Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: The role and importance of employee organizations (i.e., unions) on policies concerning international migration have been studied extensively for decades. However, we know very little about the strategies of the organized interests of health care professionals. This paper will contribute to previous research, both internationally and in the Swedish context, on issues concerning the (re-)action of professional organizations towards migration reforms that might endanger the profession's control over their segment of the labor market. Through a study of the associations representing the two largest licensed health care professions in Sweden – physicians and nurses – the study investigates if, and how, they try to limit the competition in the labor market against reforms that are promoting increased mobility and international migration. The conclusions are mixed, suggesting that the long-term goals of professional associations are more important than strategies that might reduce the competition of foreign-educated practitioners in the short run.

Keywords: international migration; regulated occupations; physicians; nurses; professionalism; migration policy; Sweden

JEL-codes: J44; J48; J51; J61

52 pages, September 20, 2017

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