Nordic Integration and Settlement Policies for Refugees

A Comparative Analysis of Labour Market Integration Outcomes

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This report has been commissioned by the Labour Market Committee of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The chief aim is to provide policy-relevant knowledge by conducting a comparative analysis of refugee labour-market integration in Scandinavia. Instead of focusing on the well-known employment gap or the fiscal impact of refugee unemployment, this study investigates the divergent impacts of integration programmes and settlement policies for refugees from different backgrounds. Through longitudinal comparative analysis, this study examines the labour-market integration of refugees in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, searching for explanations of cross-national differences by combining statistical analyses with in-depth analyses of national policies and governance structures.



Research design: data and methods

Sweden, Denmark and Norway have been described as ideal candidates for a “most similar” comparative study because of their political, social, cultural and economic similarities (Borevi, Jensen & Mouritsen 2017, p. 5). Scandinavia has many advantages that enable comparative statistical analyses. The national population registers based on a unique pin-code, that enables linking to other administrative registers, allows for longitudinal analysis of relatively small groups of immigrants such as refugees. Such data are hardly found outside of the Nordic countries. Further, the concepts, definitions and classifications used in the three countries are relatively similar (Bevelander et al., 2013, p. 13).


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