Research project Segregation across multiple domains
How does workplace and neighbourhood segregation shape the employment trajectories of refugees and their children?
Using register data, the researchers will investigate how economic segregation in the workplace affects refugees' employment status and income development, but also the risk of long-term sickness absence, support and breaks for studies or parental leave. By identifying factors that can promote refugees' life chances, the project aims to contribute to integration research and provide evidence for political action.
Research problem and specific questions
Increased rates of refugee immigration have led to rising concerns about integration in Sweden. Public debates often involve residential segregation, as there is a strong idea that economic disadvantages stem from concentrations of migrants in neighbourhoods. However, scholars show that living among co-ethnics can also generate certain advantages, such as employment opportunities or mutual support. Mixed findings have led to calls for research that compares and contrasts the role of residential and workplace segregation. Indeed, workplaces may play a more important role than neighbourhoods in facilitating the integration of refugees, as they imply more intense interaction across ethnic divides.
The project will meet this gap by addressing three research questions: (1) To what extent does ethnic segregation in the workplace explain the employment trajectories of refugees? And how does this change when we consider the interaction between workplace and neighbourhood segregation?; (2) How does the socio-economic composition, employment sector, and urban/rural location of the workplace shape the relationship between segregation and employment trajectories?; (3) To what extent does the relationship between ethnic segregation and employment trajectories persist across generations for children of refugees?
Data and methods
We will use Swedish register data and quantitative methods, including event history analysis and multiple latent trajectory strategies, to investigate how ethnic segregation in the workplace−and its interaction with residential segregation−impacts the employment status and income development of refugees, as well as the risk of longterm sickness absence, welfare benefits, and non-employment due to studies or parental leave. Given that men’s and women’s economic activity differs, we examine the role of gender throughout the project.
Societal relevance and utilisation
The project will make empirical and theoretical contributions and have direct implications for integration policies by highlighting factors that promote the life chances of refugees. It will further provide novel insight into longrun integration by examining the trajectories of refugees and their children.
Plan for project realisation
The team comprises three experts in integration research. We will assess the research questions consecutively, one in each year of the project, and published the results in international scientific journals.