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Abstract

This paper examines the labour market integration of immigrants who have entered Germany since 1990, and compares their situation with that of their predecessors. The analyses based on the cumulative micro-census data reveal that recent immigrants into Germany are on average better-educated than their earlier counterparts, and some ethnic groups are even better- educated than the national average. Despite their high levels of formal education, these immigrants coming mostly from Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East face severe integration problems in the German labour market. Thus, after taking into account the value of human capital represented by these immigrants, their ethnic disadvantages appear to increase. This stands in sharp contrast with the disadvantages faced by “classic” immigrants who arrived in Germany during the 1960s and 1970s, for whom lack of human capital had been identified as the main obstacle to labour market integration.