17 May 2022


Immigrant Economic Integration in Host Societies

Format: Harvard

Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Assignment

Words: 1603

Pages: 5

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Among the major issues the Western nations face is the way to tackle the up surging share of immigrants as well as their descendants. The inclusion of immigrants into the host country is influential to social cohesion. In nearly all the Western nations, the arguments on the outcomes of immigration are topical issues in both political and public concerns. Another major concern includes the inclusion of immigrants with regards to employment, occupational status and income among policymakers (Tubergen, Maas and Flap, 2004). 

Immigrants are renowned for worse performance on the labor market compared to the native residents. For instance, in the Netherlands, 10 percent of non-Western immigrants were not employed as opposed to the 4 percent of the population of the natives in 2008. Also, in Germany, 15 percent of individuals with immigration background were not employed in 2007 compared to the below 8 percent for native Germans (Kaas and Manger, 2010). The differences are constant when considering the socio-economic background. There are as well lower rates of employment, occupational status and income likened to the native population in both Germany and the Netherlands. The concept holds for the second generation as well. Thus, the labor market outcome of the immigrants is well explained based on the theory of social capital. The social capital means that persons endowed with social assets based on their social networks and others resources they can reach, prosper in their gals. Thus, someone’s social network can be utilized as a capital. Access to labor market, wages, and occupational status contributes to economic outcomes. Thus, for immigrants, social networks are essential for breaking through the labor market. For instance, 50 percent of the immigrants find their jobs based on social networks. The percentage is envisaged to be higher for the low-educated young ones. However, for the German native population, the percentage is 30. 

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The application of social networks is an excellent approach towards seeking job in potentially discriminative nation. Moreover, social capital offers right to use to host society- definite human capital as well as openings. But, though immigrants depend greatly on their social network for getting jobs, the result is a low-quality job and a low wage (Tubergen et al. 2004). The main portion of the impact of social capital on discovering jobs is associated with the trend for the same individuals to become friends. Though, ethnic homophily is a major challenge in social networks. The different findings on the challenges are based on bonding and bridging forms of social capital. Bonding is the within-group linkages, whereas bridging is the between group links. Returns are tied to varied forms of social capital that individuals have. Whereas bonding is based on getting by, bridging is to get ahead. 

Social capital, more so bridging is anticipated to deliver positive returns for the immigrants. Thus, since a majority of bosses are inhabitants, it is prudent for immigrants to create links with the communities. To build bridges help in gaining contact to host nation-definite capitals as well as to avoid discernment. On the other hand, interethnic relations are linked to enhanced labor market results. Also, the lack of incomes seems not to be forthright with regards to bonding. The minority ethnic groups are typically having a social network that is tight. On the contrary immigrants networks are usually characterized by being isolated which impacts negatively on the economic integration (Bevelander and Groeneveld, 2012). Therefore, being embedded into ethnic networks is likely to affect effective upward mobility as a result of social obligations, norms of downward leveling, and pressure to conformity. On the contrary, the social network of the immigrants’ are usually linked with providing security, opportunities and high solidarity. For example, ethnic-founded and family-founded links are considered to be leading to the immigrants’ performance on labor market. 

The major explanatory variable for the outcomes of labor market is human capital. The quantity of human assets a person has is the major variable that describes the results of a labor market. Human capital also has the interaction impacts with the social capital. Human capital is a significant control variable. This is seen when there is improvement in the attainment of education as well as proficiency in language as a main effect for labor force status discrimination amid the first and second cohorts. There are differences in both direct and indirect impacts in the analysis of the role of human investment in the relationship between labor force and social resources status (Schoeni, 1996). Human resources have been applied comprehensively to clarify the economic incorporation of the immigrants. Therefore, to deduce from the concept, the possession of human capital leads to economic equality. The host nation-definite human assets or capital gained after onset in the host country has the greatest effect on labor force status. The indirect impact of human assets on status of labor force is based on the acquisition of social capital. Thus, social capital is important in creating human capital. In a nutshell, in the process of return achievement, social capital adds to human capital as opposed to replacing it. Nonetheless, human capital leads to social capital. 

Based on education and experiences of working, immigrants of younger generation have established more extensively embedded networks. The merging of human resources and family relationships has explained the incidence of immigrants’ self-employment in the United States (Song, 2009). When considering human capital as well as labor market results, nation-specific human capital is of specific significance. The importance is as a result of the acquisition of host nation-specific human capital to allow for bridging social capital establishment, as it enables immigrants to create contacts with the natives. Thus, the positive impact of the host nation-specific capital could partly as a result of the immigrants interacting with the natives and building the bridging social assets. For instance, in the Netherlands, this is partly the incidence. A part from education in the host nation, one of the key essential society-specific expertise is adeptness of language. For example, when searching for a job, immigrants are disadvantaged if they are speaking their inherent language. Overall, the host society-specific proficiency of the language is established to have optimistic effect on labor force status, including work, income and occupational status. 

But, the penalty appears to differ for every ethnic cohort (Crenshaw, 1989). Besides, there could be a negative impact of ethnic networks on language proficiency. For instance, bonding social assets adversely impacts on language aptitude and eventually has an adverse impact on labor force position. On the contrary, one could anticipate that individuals with good skill in the host society language gain farther from their bridging social resources compared to individuals who poorly speak it. Thus, language proficiency is tested based on relations terms regarding whether the impact of social investment differ from diverse stages of language aptitude. 

There could be as well diverse impacts of social capital for the many human capital levels. For instance, when immigrants gain more host nation-specific human capital may decrease. Social investment is specifically important for immigrants who possess insignificant nation-specific abilities, though widespread connections to immigrant people. But, as provided in isolation, there are suggestions that economic demerits linked to social capital are not usually shared among the entire immigrant group members (Borjas, 1985). The interplay of social resources and human assets in the income gain process among the Dutch managers revealed an unexpected interaction. The process revealed that social capital assists at every level of human capital, though human capitals do not create any difference at social capital’s highest levels. On the other hand, for the possibility of employment as well as wages of early school dropouts across Germany, certain practices of social investment are highly operative compared to individuals who accomplished their training. The more successful social assets for the premature school dropouts are a social linkage that connects to the employed people which is a type of bridging social network. 

Embeddedness is one of the important concepts in elaborating the success of entrepreneurs including the success of immigrants particularly. Besides, the success of immigrants is with regards to informal economic accomplishments however much they are conducted outside the normal basis. Embeddedness though tends to be applied majorly in a more one-sided aspect, mentioning rather wholly to the group’s social features that are considered a priori to entail virtually predominantly co-ethnics. Thus, applying embeddedness in this manner disregards the major economic as well as institutional perspective in which immigrants are inescapably embedded. Thus, mixed embeddedness which focuses on the interplay of economic, social and institutional contexts allows for the rise of immigrants. Mixed embeddedness is centered on the crossing of socio-cultural system changes on one side and process of change which is urban, including institutional frameworks on the other side (Kloosterman et al . 2010). Therefore, the changing courses of developing novel forms of mixed embeddedness is likely to determine to what level procedures of self-employment can set up a way to social flexibility for instance, in post-industrial Netherlands. An effective course of including immigrant moguls can after initiating the foundation of embeddedness in immigrant networks highly relies on the embeddedness procedures in the general context of the Dutch. To change the mix of embeddedness is a contingent, open social course where several social players can be included and on which the inclusion of immigrant businesspersons relies (Alejandro and Sensenbrenner, 1993). 


Baker, M. & Benjamin, D. (1997) “The role of the Family in Immigrants’ Labor Market Activity: An evaluation of alternative explanations”, American Economic Review, vol. 87(4) (electronically available via Jstor)  

Bevelander P and Pendakur R (2014) The labour market integration of refugee and family reunion immigrants: a comparison of outcomes in Canada and Sweden, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40:5, 689-709, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2013.849569   

Bevelander, P. (2005) “The Employment Status of Immigrant Women: the Case of Sweden”, International Migration Review, Vol. 39 (1) spring.  

Borjas, G. (1994) “The Economics of Immigration” in Journal of Economic Literature, Vol.XXX11, pp 1667–1717. (electronically available via JStor)  

Borjas, G. J. (1985). Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants. Journal of Labor Economics, 3(4), 463–489. Retrieved from  http://www.jstor.org/stable/2534922   

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Kaas, L. and Manger, C. (2010) “Ethnic Discrimination in Germany’s Labour Market: A Field Experiment. IZA DP No. 4741. Available at:  http://ftp.iza.org/dp4741.pdf   

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Portes, Alejandro and Julia Sensenbrenner (1993) “Embeddedness and Immigration: Notes on the Social Determinants of Economic Action”, The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 98, No. 6, pp. 1320-1350. (electronically available via JStor)  

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