The number of refugees and asylum seekers has reached a historic high in recent years, and discussions on admissions of refugee top debates in European countries. However, limited literature has studied the heterogeneity in immigrant groups in terms of their labor market outcomes with a focus on the recent cohort of immigrants in European countries. This paper analyzes whether refugees’ labor market assimilation differ significantly from that of economic immigrants. The labor market assimilation of different immigrant groups differs because refugees and economic immigrants have different motivations when they make migration decision which may result in different human capital stocks between refugees and economic immigrants. Using country-level data published in European Union Labour Force Survey (EULFS) in 2014, this study differentiates immigrants who migrated for protection and those who migrated for economic reasons, and analyzes whether higher percentage of refugee population in a country leads of lower overall first-generation immigrant employment rate. The results of aggregate analysis suggest that being refugees does not result in less desirable labor market outcomes compared to economic immigrants.


Burnell, Barbara



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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