Coming of Age in Exile: Health and Socio-Economic Inequalities in Young Refugees in the Nordic Welfare Societies. (2020) [PDF]

Coming of Age in Exile: Health and Socio-Economic Inequalities in Young Refugees in the Nordic Welfare Societies. NordForsk, 2020,

Coming of Age in Exile (CAGE) has been a multidisciplinary research project, funded by the Nordic Research Council (NordForsk) during 2015-2020, for more information see https://cage.ku.dk/. CAGE has been led by the Danish Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health (MESU) at the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen and carried out in collaboration with researchers at the Migration Institute of Finland, Turku; the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS), Oslo; the University of South-Eastern Norway, University of Bergen, University of Gothenburg, and the Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Stockholm University/Karolinska Institutet. 

During the last fifty years, the number of people moving to the Nordic countries has increased. From the 1970s onwards, a large part of non-Nordic immigration has consisted of refugees and their families. Children below 18 years of age comprise a sizable proportion of refugee immigrants, i.e. 25-35% of the refugees in the Nordic countries, and about twice as many when children born in exile are also included. In welfare typologies, the Nordic countries are often considered as similar in terms of their welfare state policies, but there are also important differences between countries in terms of immigration policy and economic context. The Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX), a comparative policy analysis tool used by the European Union, has shown that during the period in which the CAGE study was conducted, Denmark ranked far behind the other Nordic countries, with more restrictive integration policies related to financial support, family reunification, and possibilities for naturalisation. Key economic factors also differ considerably between countries, with Sweden and Finland having had higher rates of youth unemployment during recent decades. The Nordic countries, with their excellent national registers, provide a unique arena for comparative studies of refugee children and youth in order to obtain an understanding of contextual factors in the reception countries for the integration of young refugees. 

The aim of the CAGE project has been to investigate inequalities in education, labour market participation, and health during the formative years in young refugees, and how they relate to national policies and other contextual factors. CAGE has used a mixed methods strategy built around a core of cross-country comparative quantitative register studies in national cohorts of refugees who were granted residency as children (0-17 years) during 1986-2005 in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, with follow-up until 2015. These quantitative register studies have been complimented with policy analyses and qualitative studies of key mechanisms involved in the development of these inequalities.

PDF: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ketil_Eide/publication/348357687_CAGE_Final_Report_2015-2020/links/5ffa113692851c13feffbbe2/CAGE-Final-Report-2015-2020.pdf.

Brodmann, Stefanie, and Javier G. Polavieja. ‘Immigrants in Denmark: Access to Employment, Class Attainment and Earnings in a High-Skilled Economy’. (2011) [PDF]

Brodmann, Stefanie, and Javier G. Polavieja. ‘Immigrants in Denmark: Access to Employment, Class Attainment and Earnings in a High-Skilled Economy’. International Migration, vol. 49, no. 1, 2011, pp. 58–90.

This study examines employment access, class attainment, and earnings among native-born and first-generation immigrants in Denmark using Danish administrative data from 2002. Results suggest large gaps in employment access between native-born Danes and immigrants, as well as among immigrant groups by country of origin and time of arrival. Non-Western immigrants and those arriving after 1984 are at a particular disadvantage compared to other immigrants, a finding not explained by education differences. Immigrants are more likely to be employed in unskilled manual jobs and less likely to be employed in professional and intermediate-level positions than native-born Danes, although the likelihood of obtaining higher-level positions increases as immigrants’ time in Denmark lengthens. Class attainment and accumulated work experience explain a significant portion of native-immigrant gaps in earnings, but work experience reduces native-immigrant gaps in class attainment for lower-level positions only. The Danish “flexicurity” model and its implications for immigrants living in Denmark are discussed.

doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00608.x.

PDF: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00608.x.

Nielsen, Helena Skyt, Michael Rosholm, Nina Smith, and Leif Husted. ‘Qualifications, Discrimination, or Assimilation? An Extended Framework for Analysing Immigrant Wage (2004) [PDF]

Nielsen, Helena Skyt, Michael Rosholm, Nina Smith, and Leif Husted. ‘Qualifications, Discrimination, or Assimilation? An Extended Framework for Analysing Immigrant Wage Gaps’. Empirical Economics, vol. 29, no. 4, Dec. 2004, pp. 855–883.

In this paper, we analyze immigrant wage gaps and propose an extension of the traditional wage decomposition technique, which is a synthesis from two strains of literature on ethnic/immigrant wage differences, namely the ‘assimilation literature’ and the ‘discrimination literature’. We estimate separate wage equations for natives and a number of immigrant groups using panel data sample selection models. Based on the estimations, we find that the immigrant wage gap is caused by a lack of qualifications and incomplete assimilation, and that a large fraction of that gap would disappear if only immigrants could find employment and thus accumulate work experience.

doi:10.1007/s00181-004-0221-9.

PDF: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00181-004-0221-9.

Spanger, Marlene, and Sophia Dørffer Hvalkof. Migranters mobilitet: Mellem kriminalisering, menneskehandel og udnyttelse på det danske arbejdsmarked. (2020) [PDF]

Spanger, Marlene, and Sophia Dørffer Hvalkof. Migranters mobilitet: Mellem kriminalisering, menneskehandel og udnyttelse på det danske arbejdsmarked. Aalborg Universitetsforlag, 2020.

Udnyttelse af arbejdsmigranter er et udbredt fænomen på det danske arbejdsmarked indenfor en række brancher som gartnerier, landbrug, byggeri, butik og rengøring. Ofte er migranterne ansat i midlertidige ufaglærte stillinger. Under hvilke forhold arbejder migranterne? Hvordan finder rekruttering af arbejdsmigranterne sted? Hvilke aktører er involveret i rekruttering og ansættelse af migranterne? Bogen kaster lys over migranternes arbejdsforhold og migrationsproces gennem analytiske greb som prekaritet og mobilitet.  I den sidste del af bogen vendes blikket mod den nationale indsats mod men­neske­han­del.

Myndighederne og fagforeningen forstår udnyttelse af arbejdsmigranter som ’tvangsarbejde’ og ’social dumping’, men gennem det sidste årti har arbejdsmigration fået myndighedernes bevågenhed gennem den nationale handlingsplan mod men­ne­ske­han­del. Det betyder, at nogle af de migranter, der har været udsat for ar­bejds­ud­nyt­tel­se, bliver af myn­dig­he­der­ne identificeret som ofre for men­ne­ske­han­del. Spørgsmålet er om denne politiske strategi sikrer migranters arbejds- og men­nes­ke­ret­tig­he­der.  Migranters mobilitet – mellem kriminalisering, menneskehandel og udnyttelse på det danske arbejdsmarked bygger på interviews med migranter, rekrutteringsfirmaer og myndigheder. Bogen undersøger, hvordan arbejdsmigranter ikke kun presses af arbejdsmarkedets dynamikker, men også hvordan migrationspolitikker er med til at presse migranter ud i prekære situationer.

https://vbn.aau.dk/en/publications/migranters-mobilitet-mellem-kriminalisering-menneskehandel-og-udn

https://aauforlag.dk/shop/boeger/migranters-mobilitet-mellem-kriminalisering-m.aspx.

PDF: https://vbn.aau.dk/ws/portalfiles/portal/348073070/Migranters_mobilitet_OA.pdf

Spanger, Marlene, Hanne Marlene Dahl, and Elin Petersson. ‘Rethinking Global Care Chains through the Perspective of Heterogeneous States, Discursive Framings and Multi-Level Governance’. (2017) [PDF]

Spanger, Marlene, Hanne Marlene Dahl, and Elin Petersson. ‘Rethinking Global Care Chains through the Perspective of Heterogeneous States, Discursive Framings and Multi-Level Governance’. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, vol. 7, no. 4, De Gruyter Open, Dec. 2017, pp. 251–259.

In investigating global and regional care chains, scholars have traditionally adopted a sociological bottom–up approach, but more attention has recently been focussed on the role of the state. Despite this new attention to states and how they condition care chains, the existing frameworks cannot grasp the complexity of potential struggles and tensions within states and at the various state levels. In outlining a broad and tentative analytical framework for exploration of the role of the state in shaping global care chains, this theoretical article combines feminist state theory, discursive policy analysis and multi-level governance theories. Paying attention to the role of the state, we focus on the framing of policy problems that are important for care chains and on potential tensions between different framings within a state and across the different state levels. We argue that these framings should be investigated in both receiving and sending states.

https://vbn.aau.dk/en/publications/rethinking-global-care-chains-through-the-perspective-of-heteroge.

PDF: 10.1515/njmr-2017-0029.

Li, Jin Hui, Louise Yung Nielsen, Marlene Spanger, and Lene Myong. ‘De andre tegn på kroppen’. (2019) [PDF]

Li, Jin Hui, Louise Yung Nielsen, Marlene Spanger, and Lene Myong. ‘De andre tegn på kroppen’. Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, vol. 28, no. 1–2, Foreningen for Kønsforskning, Oct. 2019, pp. 99–108.

Dette essay udspringer af vores erfaringer med at blive forvekslet med hinanden i konteksten af dansk akademia. At blive forvekslet er selvfølgelig ikke en erfaring, der er forbeholdt østasiatiske kroppe som vores. Vores afsæt er den racialiserende forveksling, som produceres gennem et hvidt akademisk blik, der både udvisker forskellighed og bestemmer hvilke former for forskellighed, der skal tillægges vægt og betydning. Vi anvender dermed forvekslingerne som en indgang til at reflektere over, hvordan race og hvidhed fungerer som organiserende principper i akademia, og på hvilke måder forskellige former for racialiseringsprocesser gør sig gældende i vores arbejdsliv.

doi:10.7146/kkf.v28i1-2.116120.

PDF: https://tidsskrift.dk/KKF/article/view/116120

Buchardt, Mette. ‘Schooling the Muslim Family: The Danish School System, Foreign Workers, and Their Children from the 1970s to the Early 1990s’. (2019)

Buchardt, Mette. ‘Schooling the Muslim Family: The Danish School System, Foreign Workers, and Their Children from the 1970s to the Early 1990s’. in Family, Values, and the Transfer of Knowledge in Northern Societies, 1500-2000, Eds. Ulla Aatsinki, Johanna Annola, and Mervi Kaarninen, New York: Routledge, 2019, 283–299. vbn.aau.dk,

Since the 1970s, the Danish educational politics has handled children of labor migrants from the global South as an object of and a specific problem to schooling, describing these children through their parents; more specifically through their parents’ relation to labor market and through what was perceived as their special behavior and mentality, the latter two often focusing on “traditions” (1970s), religion in relation to “culture” (especially since the 1980s) and “values” (since the 1990s). The chapter explores how school authorities and professionals understood and developed pedagogical strategies which on the one hand saw the parents as a central problem for and central explanation of their children’s school behavior, and on the other hand regarded migrant parents as a resource in order to diversify curriculum and schooling.

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/schooling-muslim-family-mette-buchardt/e/10.4324/9780429022623-14

Jensen, Peter Hoxcer. From Serfdom to Fireburn and Strike: The History of Black Labor in the Danish West Indies 1848-1916. (1998)

Jensen, Peter Hoxcer. From Serfdom to Fireburn and Strike: The History of Black Labor in the Danish West Indies 1848-1916. Christiansted, St. Croix: Antilles Press, 1998.

This book appears at a time when there is tremendous local, regional and international interest in 19th century emancipation in the West Indies. That event occurred in the U.S. Virgin Islands – the erstwhile Danish West Indies – on July 3, 1848. Peter Hoxcer Jensen’s fascinating new book takes up where the story of slavery leaves off and where the hard road to freedom begins. Employing previously unused materials form Danish archival and administrative sources, Jensen traces the ex-slaves’ journey from servitude, through neo-serfdom and revolt on the sugar- and cotton-producing estates where they had previously been slaves, to their emergence as an autonomous labor movement in the early 20th century. In the middle years of World War I, the disenfranchised laborers formed a labor union and struggled for recognition from the colonial government and the plantocracy, both of which continued to regard them narrowly through the distorting lens of race, color and class interests. The successful strike of 1916 played a significant role in the development of a cohesive labor movement, the nurturing of local leadership, the granting of freedom of the press and, eventually, the sale of the Danish islands to the United States in 1917. Jensen has provided us with the first scholarly study of this important period, in a treatment that is both broad and deep. From Serfdom to Fireburn and Strike is destined to take its rightful place alongside earlier ground-breaking works of Waldemar Westergaard, Isaac Dookhan, N. A. T. Hall, C. G. A. Oldendorp, and John Knox as an original, seminal study that advances Virgin Islands and Caribbean historiography.

https://antillespressvi.com/serfdom-fireburn-strike/

Jensen, Tina Gudrun, Mette Kirstine Tørslev, Kathrine Vitus, and Kristina Weibel. The Geography of (Anti-) Racism and Tolerance: Local Policy Responses, Discrimination and Employment in Denmark. (2011) [PDF]

Jensen, Tina Gudrun, Mette Kirstine Tørslev, Kathrine Vitus, and Kristina Weibel. The Geography of (Anti-) Racism and Tolerance: Local Policy Responses, Discrimination and Employment in Denmark. Working paper produced within the TOLERANCE project, 2011, pp. 57–110,

Summary of part 1:

Although ethnic minorities’ participation in the Danish labour market has increased over the last years, a strong focus rests on particularly young ethnic minority men, who tend to drop out of school and have lower labour market participation. Danish research reveals different barriers to the labour market for ethnic minority youth; e.g. lack of language skills; lack of knowledge about the labour market; professionals ́ clientelisation focusing on problems rather than on skills, discrimination and expectances of discrimination.

In 2010 the Ministry of Integration launched a new ‘Action plan on ethnic equal treatment and respect for the individual’ focusing on information disseminating campaigns and monitoring of discrimination. The municipality of Copenhagen aims at counteracting discrimination and improve equal opportunities among citizens, focusing on three areas: documentation, information and handling of cases of discrimination. Authorities distinguish between objective/factual discrimination and subjective/experienced, but they remain reluctant to acknowledge subjective discrimination referring to it as a matter of feelings.

The young ethnic minority men in this case study tell about job-seeking and being confronted with stereotypes of ethnic minority men as violent, criminal and dangerous, and they experience a need to perform better than everybody else in order to get a job or get accepted. Thus, they indicate experiences of what can be labelled ‘Everyday racism’ that connects structural forces of racism with routine situations in everyday life. While the social street workers also see discrimination and racism as a barrier to 58employment, they view the young men’s social marginalization and lacking knowledge about cultural and social codes on the labour market as the main barrier. Not knowing basic written and unwritten rules at the workplace is, according to the social street workers, a common cause of conflicts and misunderstandings, and the youth tend to be ‘over sensitive.’ The professionals thus recognize that structural discrimination exists, but they seem to perceive discrimination as potential self-inflicted. This ambiguity reflects the general caution with defining and recognizing problems as related to discrimination. Thus, diverse perceptions and understandings exists and a continuously discursive struggle goes on: are ethnic minorities objectively discriminated against at the labour market, or do their difficulties in finding and keeping a job rest on self-inflicted reasons like their attitude/behaviour or lack of education and relevant networks? In these struggles it becomes a matter of arguing for the authenticity of one’s own subjective experiences and accounts of race relations, while de-legitimizing the truthfulness of other discourses

PDF: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kathrine_Vitus/publication/262009770_Jensen_TG_Schmidt_G_T_Torslev_MT_Vitus_K_Weibel_K_2011_The_geography_of_anti-racism_and_tolerance_local_policy_responses_discrimination_and_employment_in_Denmark_The_Danish_National_Centre_for_Social_/links/55717cc108ae679887327c3d.pdf

Jørgensen, Martin Bak, and Trine Lund Thomsen. ‘“Needed but Undeserving”: Contestations of Entitlement in the Danish Policy Framework on Migration and Integration’. (2018)

Jørgensen, Martin Bak, and Trine Lund Thomsen. ‘“Needed but Undeserving”: Contestations of Entitlement in the Danish Policy Framework on Migration and Integration’. Diversity and Contestations over Nationalism in Europe and Canada, Eds. John Erik Fossum, Riva Kastoryano, and Birte Siim, London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2018, 337–364.

This chapter investigates how entitlement is being narratively framed through contestations and negotiations in the policy regimes on labour migration. The chapter focuses particularly on the case of Denmark. It has been argued that the Nordic welfare states can be characterised as expressions of a universal welfare state; however, when it comes to the Nordic immigration regimes, there is less similarity. Contrary to studies emphasising the role of right-wing populist parties, our claim is that we find a decreasing level of contestation among the political parties and increasing support of welfare chauvinism. Furthermore, the chapter argues that we have seen an increased culturalisation becoming the basis for entitlement and access and thus creating new stratifications of exclusion and inclusion.

doi:10.1057/978-1-137-58987-3_13.

https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-58987-3_13.

Roopnarine, Lomarsh, Indian Indenture in the Danish West Indies, 1863-1873.

Roopnarine, Lomarsh, Indian Indenture in the Danish West Indies, 1863-1873. Springer International Publishing AG. 2018.

This book is the first comprehensive analysis of Denmark’s solitary experiment with Indian indentured labor on St. Croix during the second half of the nineteenth century.  The book focuses on the recruitment, transportation, plantation labor, re-indenture, repatriation, remittances and abolition of Indian indentured experience on the island. In doing so, Roopnarine has produced a compelling narrative on Indian indenture. The laborers challenged and responded accordingly to their daily indentured existence using their cultural strengths to cohere and co-exist in a planter-dominated environment. Laborers had to create opportunities for themselves using their homeland customs without losing the focus that someday they would return home. Indentured Indians understood that the plantation system would not be flexible to them but rather they had to be flexible to plantation system. Roopnarine’s concise analysis has moved Indian indenture from the margin to mainstream not only in the historiography of the Danish West Indies, but also in the wider Caribbean where Indians were indentured.

https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783319307091

Villadsen, Anders R., and Jesper N. Wulff. ‘Is the Public Sector a Fairer Employer? Ethnic Employment Discrimination in the Public and Private Sectors’. (2018)

Villadsen, Anders R., and Jesper N. Wulff. ‘Is the Public Sector a Fairer Employer? Ethnic Employment Discrimination in the Public and Private Sectors’. Academy of Management Discoveries, vol. 4, no. 4, Dec. 2018, pp. 429–448.

Increasing immigration is creating multiethnic labor markets in many countries. As convincingly identified by a growing body of research, substantial ethnic discrimination inhibits immigrants’ access to employment. The public sector may play an important role in creating labor market integration by setting a good example. Yet, little is known about sector differences in employment discrimination and whether public sector or- ganizations are more or less likely than private firms to ethnically discriminate against prospective employees. Both theory and empirical studies suggest that public sector organizations discriminate less. To investigate these phenomena, we conducted two studies. Study 1 is a field experiment designed to explicitly investigate private and public sector differences in ethnic discrimination in Danish organizations’ recruitment pro- cesses. Observing extensive discrimination favoring applicants with a Danish name, we find little evidence that the public sector is fairer in hiring decisions. Study 2, which is based on register data, highlights that sector differences and similarities in discrimina- tion are context contingent and depend on organizational size and location. We propose a framework of sector and context interaction to explain organizational differences in ethnic discrimination.

doi:10.5465/amd.2016.0029.

PDF: http://journals.aom.org/doi/10.5465/amd.2016.0029.

Yılmaz, Ferruh. ‘Ethnicized Ontologies : From Foreign Worker to Muslim Immigrant : How Danish Public Discourse Moved to the Right through the Question of Immigration’. (2006) [PDF]

Yilmaz, Ferruh. Ethnicized Ontologies : From Foreign Worker to Muslim Immigrant : How Danish Public Discourse Moved to the Right through the Question of Immigration. Dissertation. UC San Diego, 2006

My thesis, in one sentence, is that the entire political discourse in Denmark (and in many parts of Europe) has moved to the right through the debate on immigration in the last two decades. The left/right distinction is pushed to the background and a cultural one – the ‘Danish people’ /the Muslim immigrant – has come to the forefront as the main dividing line. This means that the redistribution of resources is discussed as a matter of ethnicity and culture rather than other types of social identifications (e.g. class or gender). In short, a new basis for identification has become hegemonic through the articulation of a new internal division based on culture. The hegemonic change was the result of the nationalist/ racist Right’s populist intervention in the mid 1980s. Large sections of society did not feel that their concerns and demands were represented by the political system. In an environment of such profound displacement, it was relatively easy for the populist right to point to immigration as the main threat to society (associated with the welfare system) and to articulate an antagonism between the people (silent majority) and the political and cultural elite that let immigration happen. The new hegemony is based on a culturalized ontology of the social. The (re)production of immigrants as a threatening force is maintained through a constant focus on cultural issues that are considered as anti-society. In many parts of Europe, cycles of moral panics are created around issues such as honor killings, gang rapes, animal slaughter, violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriages and headscarves. These issues produce repeatedly an unbridgeable divide between Muslim (immigrant) and Danish culture. The orientation towards these issues disperses various social and political actors along the antagonistic divide, often creating insolvable tensions and fractions within social movements. Reproducing a left/ right opposition – regardless of its particular content – is what is at stake. The answer to the populist vision of society is the construction of a new type of hegemony: the strategy or ideal for a future world should be the re- ontologization of the social.

PDF: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8fd0g7h7.

Helgertz, J., P. Bevelander, and A. Tegunimataka. ‘Naturalization and Earnings: A Denmark–Sweden Comparison’. (2014) [PDF]

Helgertz, J., P. Bevelander, and A. Tegunimataka. ‘Naturalization and Earnings: A Denmark–Sweden Comparison’. European Journal of Population, vol. 30, no. 3, 2014, pp. 337–359.

The determinants and consequences of the naturalization of immigrants is a hot topic in the political debate in Europe. This article compares the effect of naturalization on the income attainment of immigrants in two Scandinavian countries, Denmark and Sweden, using longitudinal register data from 1986 and onward. Sweden is characterized by low obstacles to naturalization, and existing studies provide inconclusive evidence regarding the impact of naturalization on labor market outcomes. Denmark is instead characterized by higher barriers to naturalization, as well as a virtual inexistence of previous studies on the topic. Results, obtained through individual fixed-effect regression analysis, suggest similar effects in both countries. A consistent naturalization premium is detected for immigrants of Asian and African descent, but not for any other immigrant group. The similarity across contexts arguably questions the use of more stringent naturalization laws to promote the economic integration of immigrants.

PDF: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10680-014-9315-z

Guul, Thorbjørn Sejr, Anders R. Villadsen, and Jesper N. Wulff. ‘Does Good Performance Reduce Bad Behavior? Antecedents of Ethnic Employment Discrimination in Public Organizations’. (2019)

Guul, Thorbjørn Sejr, Anders R. Villadsen, and Jesper N. Wulff. ‘Does Good Performance Reduce Bad Behavior? Antecedents of Ethnic Employment Discrimination in Public Organizations’. Public Administration Review, vol. 79, no. 5, Sept. 2019, pp. 666–674.

Equal treatment is a key feature of modern bureaucracy. However, several studies have shown that public organizations discriminate against ethnic and racial minorities to different degrees. Which organizational features explain differences in discrimination is largely unknown. This article proposes that organizational performance relates to an organization’s likelihood of engaging in employment discrimination and argues that poor-performing organizations tend to be less open to new ideas and that decision makers in such organizations are more prone to stereotyping behavior. The study combines a field experiment in which applications were sent to real job vacancies in 71 Danish public schools with administrative data on the schools. Bayesian analyses show that minority applicants generally faced discrimination but that they experienced a higher callback rate from better-performing schools than from poorer-performing schools. Implications for practice and research are discussed.

doi:10.1111/puar.13094.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/puar.13094.

Datta Gupta, Nabanita, and Lene Kromann. ‘Differences in the Labor Market Entry of Second-Generation Immigrants and Ethnic Danes’.

Datta Gupta, Nabanita, and Lene Kromann. ‘Differences in the Labor Market Entry of Second-Generation Immigrants and Ethnic Danes’. IZA Journal of Migration, vol. 3, no. 1, Dec. 2014.

Our study is one of the first to take search friction and cross-firm differences in factor productivity into account when investigating firm behavior towards second-generation immigrants in Denmark. We ensure sub-sample homogeneity in search models by matching second-generation immigrants to their ethnic Danish twins according to parental characteristics and informal network quality. We find that second-generation immigrants with a high-school or primary school education, in particular females, perform as well or better than their ethnic counterparts. Second generation immigrants with vocational education, in particular males, face lower arrival rates when unemployed and higher layoff rates than those of their twins.

doi:10.1186/s40176-014-0016-5.

PDF: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40176-014-0016-5

Damm, Anna Piil. ‘Neighborhood Quality and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Quasi-Random Neighborhood Assignment of Immigrants’. (2014)

Damm, Anna Piil. ‘Neighborhood Quality and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Quasi-Random Neighborhood Assignment of Immigrants’. Journal of Urban Economics, vol. 79, Jan. 2014, pp. 139–166.

Settlement in a socially deprived neighborhood may hamper individual labor market outcomes because of lack of employed or highly skilled contacts. I investigate this hypothesis by exploiting a unique natural experiment that occurred between 1986 and 1998 when refugee immigrants to Denmark were assigned to municipalities quasi-randomly, which successfully addresses the methodological problem of endogenous neighborhood selection. I show that individuals sort into neighborhoods. Taking account of location sorting, living in a socially deprived neighborhood does not affect labor market outcomes of refugee men. Their labor market outcomes are also not affected by the overall employment rate and the overall average skill level in the neighborhood. However, an increase in the average skill level of non-Western immigrant men living in the neighborhood raises their employment probability, while an increase in the employment rate of co-national men living in the neighborhood raises their real annual earnings. This provides quasi-experimental evidence that residence-based job information networks are ethnically stratified.

doi:10.1016/j.jue.2013.08.004.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094119013000612

Dahl, Malte, and Niels Krog. ‘Experimental Evidence of Discrimination in the Labour Market: Intersections between Ethnicity, Gender, and Socio-Economic Status’. (2018) [PDF]

Dahl, Malte, and Niels Krog. ‘Experimental Evidence of Discrimination in the Labour Market: Intersections between Ethnicity, Gender, and Socio-Economic Status’. European Sociological Review, vol. 34, no. 4, Oxford Academic, Aug. 2018, pp. 402–417.

This article presents evidence of ethnic discrimination in the recruitment process from a field experiment conducted in the Danish labour market. In a correspondence experiment, fictitious job applications were randomly assigned either a Danish or Middle Eastern-sounding name and sent to real job openings. In addition to providing evidence on the extent of ethnic discrimination in the Danish labour market, the study offers two novel contributions to the literature more generally. First, because a majority of European correspondence experiments have relied solely on applications with male aliases, there is limited evidence on the way gender and ethnicity interact across different occupations. By randomly assigning gender and ethnicity, this study suggests that ethnic discrimination is strongly moderated by gender: minority males are consistently subject to a much larger degree of discrimin- ation than minority females across different types of occupations. Second, this study addresses a key critique of previous correspondence experiments by examining the potential confounding effect of socio-economic status related to the names used to represent distinct ethnic groups. The results support the notion that differences in callbacks are caused exclusively by the ethnic traits.

doi:10.1093/esr/jcy020.

PDF: https://academic.oup.com/esr/article/34/4/402/5047111.

Dahl, Malte. Detecting Discrimination: How Group-Based Biases Shape Economic and Political Interactions : Five Empirical Contributions. (2019) [PDF]

Dahl, Malte. Detecting Discrimination: How Group-Based Biases Shape Economic and Political Interactions : Five Empirical Contributions. Cph: Dissertation. Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, 2019.

In this dissertation, I explore how group-based biases shape economic and political interactions between salient social groups. Specifically, I test if, when and how some individuals are treated differently because of their descriptive characteristics such as ethnicity or gender. I employ a series of experiments to uncover these questions. I apply a theoretical framework asserting that discrimination can be due to both personal preferences and strategic behaviour and draw upon insights from political behaviour and social psychology to better understand the theoretical underpinnings of discrimination. Specifically, I incorporate insights from a social cognition perspective, which offers a way to understand the cognitive processes by which people place others into social groups and how this shapes behaviour. From these perspectives, I lay out some propositions that I test in two empirical tracks across five research articles that all build on field or survey experiments. In the first track, I explore how social group categories shape citizens’ encounters with public managers and private employers during the hiring process in the Danish labour market. In two correspondence experiments in which equivalent job applications and cover letters with randomly assigned aliases were sent in response to job openings, I uncover differential treatment in hiring decisions. The experiments leave no doubt that immigrant-origin minorities are targets of significant discrimination. This differential treatment is startling considering the fact that applicants were highly qualified for the jobs they applied for. Going beyond existing work, I show that this is especially true when minorities are male or when female applicants wear a headscarf which suggests the importance of the intersection of ethnicity, gender and cues of cultural distinctiveness. Moreover, I find little evidence to indicate that immigrant-origin minorities can reduce this discrimination by indicating adherence to cultural norms. In the second track, I study the effect of group-based biases on the political representation of underrepresented groups. The research articles present compelling evidence that immigrant-origin minorities face significant barriers in obtaining substantive and descriptive political representation. In a field experiment, the third research article indicates the significant bias of incumbents in their direct communication with ethnic out-group constituents. This manifests itself directly in the legislator-constituent relationship: when constituents contact their local incumbents to retrieve information on the location of their polling station, minority voters are significantly less likely to receive a reply, and they receive replies of lower quality. Although the overall level of responsive- ness increases when politicians face strong electoral incentives, the bias persists. One important contribution is the discovery that immigrant-origin voters can identify more responsive politicians by paying attention to two types of heuristics regarding legislators: their partisan affiliation cues and their stated preferences on immigration policies. Departing from the finding that descriptive representation impacts substantive representation, the fourth research article explores reasons for the gap in political representation. Specifically, it investigates whether local political candidates with immigrant-origin names face barriers due to negative voter preferences. Building on a conjoint experiment, the article presents evidence indicat- ing that the electoral prospects of political candidates with immigrant-origin names are hampered because voters prefer ethnic in-group candidates. Strikingly, this is true in a high-information set- ting where voters are informed about candidates’ political experience, policy positions and party membership. Moreover, there is no evidence for a pro-male bias. Finally, in the last research article, I study the validity of the candidate conjoint experimental design. Specifically, I examine to what extent social desirability bias threatens validity and which tactics researchers can pursue to obtain reliable answers. The results indicate that social desirability bias may be a more minimal concern than what is often assumed. Taken together, the evidence from the five research articles provides insight into a deeply challenging social issue. There are often strong legal or normative arguments emphasizing why, in many socio-political interactions, individuals’ immutable group categories should be invisible. Inadequate representation and opportunities can have serious consequences and downstream electoral effects on a number of societal outcomes and have negative spill-over effects across social domains and time. The research articles indicate that discrimination appears to be hard to mitigate and immigrant- origin minorities have few tools at their disposal to reduce discrimination, which points to the need for institutional actions to eliminate barriers that inhibit individuals from attaining equal access.

PDF: https://menneskeret.dk/sites/menneskeret.dk/files/media/dokumenter/malte_dahl_forskning.pdf

Christoffersen, Lisbet, and Niels Valdemar Vinding. ‘Challenged Pragmatism: Conflicts of Religion and Law in the Danish Labour Market’. (2013) [PDF]

Christoffersen, Lisbet, and Niels Valdemar Vinding. ‘Challenged Pragmatism: Conflicts of Religion and Law in the Danish Labour Market’. International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, vol. 13, no. 2–3, SAGE Publications Ltd, June 2013, pp. 140–168.

Against the backdrop of a well-regulated and pragmatic Danish labour market, the question of reasonable accommodation is discussed on the basis of current legislation, recent legal cases and substantial interview material drawn from the RELIGARE sociolegal research done in Denmark. Employees of religious faith have made religious claims and thereby challenged a secular understanding of the Danish labour market. This raises the question of the extent to which the religion of the individual can be accepted in the general public sphere. At the same time, religious ethos organisations have argued for the protection of their organisational identity and sought to employ and dismiss personnel according to the norms of the religious ethos, raising the question of how far ‘reasonable accommodation’ extends. Both the individual and the collective cluster cases ultimately raise questions concerning where to draw the line between accommodating religion and restricting freedom on the basis of professionalism, job functions or other reasons. On the basis of empirical findings, this article concludes that the pragmatic approach is supporting a renewed religious identity of faith-based organisations, but also warns against hijacking rights of individual employees.

https://doi.org/10.1177/1358229113492064.

PDF: https://www.academia.edu/4336642/Challenged_pragmatism_Conflicts_of_religion_and_law_in_the_Danish_labour_market