Dissertation: Immigration, Integration and Return Migration in Germany

Immigration, Integration and Return Migration in Germany

EURO-Wirtschaft – Studien zur ökonomischen Entwicklung Europas, volume 33

Hamburg , 156 pages

ISBN 978-3-8300-3866-5 (print)
ISBN 978-3-339-03866-1 (eBook)

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For a long time, Germany has not considered itself as an immigration country. Instead, the guest worker program initiated in the second half of the last century determined the way of thinking and dealing with immigration over the last decades. Foreigners have been regarded as temporary residents who would return to their country of origins after having accomplished their work in Germany. However, due to family reunifications, the fall of the iron curtain and the ongoing globalization Germany has continued to serve as a destination country for immigrants. Today, almost nineteen percent of the population in Germany are either foreign citizens or have a migration background. Consequently, immigration and the integration of foreigners into the labor market have received increasing attention in the economic-political debate.

The historical overview on Germany's migration experience as well as the presentation of stylized facts on migration flows and stocks represent the starting point for my analyses. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) I study the location choice of newly arrived immigrants, the subjective well-being of foreign-born residents, the intergenerational mobility in education as well as return migration. The empirical findings are relevant for analyses on the fiscal impact of immigration as well as important in the context of demographic change. Since the labor supply in Germany will come along with regional and skill-specific shortages the immigration of (highly) qualified employees might mitigate bottlenecks.

However, current immigration regulations do neither indicate which types of immigrants (e.g. with respect to educational achievements, age and working experience) nor how many foreign-born should be admitted to the labor market. A coherent and transparent immigration policy which provides highly qualified individuals with a long-term perspective to settle in Germany may contribute to attract immigrants to the country.

Ihr Werk im Verlag Dr. Kovač

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