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Abstract

This study examines employment access, class attainment, and earnings among native-born and first-generation immigrants in Denmark using Danish administrative data from 2002. Results suggest large gaps in employment access between native-born Danes and immigrants, as well as among immigrant groups by country of origin and time of arrival. Non-Western immigrants and those arriving after 1984 are at a particular disadvantage compared to other immigrants, a finding not explained by education differences. Immigrants are more likely to be employed in unskilled manual jobs and less likely to be employed in professional and intermediate-level positions than native-born Danes, although the likelihood of obtaining higher-level positions increases as immigrants’ time in Denmark lengthens. Class attainment and accumulated work experience explain a significant portion of native-immigrant gaps in earnings, but work experience reduces native-immigrant gaps in class attainment for lower-level positions only. The Danish “flexicurity” model and its implications for immigrants living in Denmark are discussed.