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Labour Market Penalties of New Immigrants in New and Old Receiving West European Countries

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Abstract

Over the past two decades, all European societies have experienced continued and increasing migrations, albeit with very different intensities and characteristics. Our focus is on new immigrants -- those who have come from abroad in the past 15 years -- in both old and new receiving West European countries. Comparative analyses on this issue are rather weak as the literature on immigrant integration in the labour market is well-established in the old receiving countries, but is just beginning to be developed in the newer receiving ones. The article aims at introducing the articles collected in this special issue, which present the results of a research project that concerns six European countries -- Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. Our focus is on inequalities between immigrants and natives with respect to the risk of unemployment and to the access to highly qualified occupations. After having highlighted similarities and differences across those countries, we tried to draw some general conclusions concerning the main factors that may have shaped new immigrants’ incorporation into West European labour markets. In particular, the role played by the nature of immigration and by the labour demand seems to be crucial.

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