Who Does It and Where? Economic integration of refugees in France and Sweden

<b>Abstract:</b> This paper assesses migrant economic integration in Sweden and France using two national-level surveys specifically aimed at studying the living conditions of migrants. The “Trajectoire et Origines” survey of 2008-2009 collects information on immigrants and their descendants in France. The 2010 “Level of Living Survey for Foreign Born Persons and their Children” includes information on resident immigrants in Sweden. Through a set of logistic regression analysis based on these two datasets, we investigate the factors that most influence the economic integration of immigrants in both countries. The analytical focus is the comparison of refugees to economic and other non-economic immigrants, including both individual and contextual characteristics. Economic integration is measured both as labour market attachment and experienced economic difficulties. The results show that after controlling for sociodemographic and contextual characteristics there are not significant differences in the labour market participation between refugees and other categories of immigrants. Only in France female refugees do significantly worse in the labour market than their labour migrant counterparts but also better compared to family migrants. For the experience of economic difficulties, we found that in France, refugees experience more economic difficulties compared to families and student migrants while in Sweden, refugees experience more economic difficulties only compared to work migrants and women who do not need any residence permit. In terms of host country contexts, we found that contextual factors increase the differences between countries. However, the individual characteristics contribute to ameliorate these differences.