Projects
May 2005 / March 2008

Diversity, Integration and the Economy

The project "Diversity, Integration and the Economy" aims to generate original empirical findings on the contribution that cultural diversity may bring to economic performance in host societies. It also aim to help decision-makers adopt policies that can better tap the distinctive cultural-human and social capital of immigrants and their communities...

The project "Diversity, Integration and the Economy" aims to generate original empirical findings on the contribution that cultural diversity may bring to economic performance in host societies. It also aim to help decision-makers adopt policies that can better tap the distinctive cultural-human and social capital of immigrants and their communities, in order to enhance economic performance. The project pursues these objectives through theoretically-controlled empirical research on:

  • How does immigrant diversity (i.e. the distinctive characteristics, behavioural patterns and social networks of immigrants and ethnic groups) affect their individual labour performance, as well as productivity, innovation and growth in host areas?
  • How is the impact of diversity on economic performance mediated by regulatory frameworks (i.e. legislation and programmes regulating the status, access to welfare and social services, education and employment of immigrants)?

Based on the results of its research, the project attempts to derive both practical and policy recommendations at local, national and EU level. The project is co-ordinated by the Migration Research Group (MRG) at the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (Hamburgisches Welt-Wirtschafts-Archiv – HWWI).

Main Results and Outputs

Focusing on the relationship between diversity and economic performance, FEEM investigated the net effect of migration on productivity and wages in the host country, and on the likely distribution of gains and losses among workers differing in their ethnicity, education and experience.
Capitalising on a research by Ottaviano and Peri (2006), FEEM carried out an empirical analysis of the effects of immigration on the German labour market. It used a rich administrative dataset (c.o. IAB) recording labour market and socio-demographic variables for a simple random sample of 2% of the German population of employees registered with the social security. The econometric analysis was conducted separately for German and immigrant workers previously settled in the country, showing a different impact of immigration on the two groups.
The results of this research have been published in “The labor market impact of immigration in western Germany in the 90's” (F. D'Amuri, G.I.P. Ottaviano, G. Peri), 2008, FEEM and NBER Working Paper, submitted in European Economic Review.

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