Occupational trajectories and occupational cost among Senegalese immigrants in Europe

Ognjen Obucina, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

This paper examines the mechanisms of occupational trajectories and occupational cost of migration among Senegalese immigrants in France, Italy and Spain. The occupational path of the Senegalese in Europe takes a U-shaped form, as the average job score declines just after the migration, but then gradually improves with duration of stay in Europe. However, the process of upward mobility is slow: by the fifth year of stay in Europe only one out of four immigrants experiences upward mobility relative to the first year after migration. There is also some evidence of cumulative inertia as the discrete-time analysis shows that the likelihood of experiencing upward or downward mobility in the destination decreases with each additional year in Europe. The analysis also reveals that education acquired in Europe has an especially important role for a more successful labor market participation of immigrants. Senegalese men are more occupationally mobile than women. The number of years spent inactive or unemployed in Europe, having no language skills at arrival and having no work permit are all negatively associated with occupational attainment and the chances of upward mobility. Heckman selection model shows that there is selection into employment among the Senegalese immigrants in Europe, which must be taken into account in order to obtain unbiased results. It emerges from fixed effects estimation that there is a statistically significant occupational cost associated with the act of migration, but also that it decreases with duration of stay in Europe.

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Presented in Poster Session 1