Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1025: Employer Attitudes towards Refugee Immigrants

Per Lundborg () and Per Skedinger ()
Additional contact information
Per Lundborg: Swedish Institute for Social Research, Postal: Stockholm University
Per Skedinger: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We present a large survey with responses from Swedish firms on their attitudes towards refugees, regarding hiring, job performance, wage setting and discrimination. Generally, firms report positive experiences of having refugees as employees, but we also document a great deal of heterogeneity in attitudes. Firms that ceased to have refugees on the payroll are less satisfied with their job performance, which seems related to poor language skills and less screening of refugees but not to discrimination of them by staff or customers. While most firms agree with statements that wage cuts negatively affect worker cohesion, effort or the quality of applicants, employers who consider such cuts as employment-enhancing tend to not agree.

Keywords: Refugee immigrants; Labour demand; Discrimination

JEL-codes: J15; J23; J71

29 pages, May 16, 2014

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