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GEMM Report Summary

Project ID: 649255
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GEMM (Growth, Equal Opportunities, Migration and Markets)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

GEMM will deliver an assessment of labour market inequalities of migrants and minorities in Europe. We especially focus on highly skilled migrants to Europe, who do not always find jobs in which their skills are used most effectively. By understanding the drivers of these inequalities and determining how institutional factors account for differences between countries, we deliver recommendations of great practical and policy relevance. We achieve our goals through using different research methods - experiments, in-depth interviews and statistical analyses of existing data - and through considering different determinants - individual, contextual and institutional. We are thus able to compare integration processes and outcomes over different countries in Europe and can highlight the factors that help to successfully integrate migrants and minorities in the host country labour market - to the benefit of both minorities and the majority population.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The GEMM project has five objectives.
Objective 1 (WP2). To outline the factors related to the successful labour market incorporation of migrants.
Objective 2 (WP3). To contribute to the scholarly knowledge of the causes of discrimination, by carrying out a truly comparable cross-national analysis of ethnic discrimination in the European labour market.
Objective 3 (WP4). To better understand the ability of EU societies to attract human capital by capturing the ‘lived’ experiences of prospective and established migrants in different countries; and by comparing the experiences of mobile EU citizens with highly skilled non-European migrants.
Objective 4 (WP5). To analyse how institutional arrangements can reduce ethnic inequality and enhance the two drivers of growth in order to realise a competitive and innovative European labour market.
Objective 5 (WP6). To formulate a set of policy lessons informed by the empirical evidence and our analysis of institutional arrangements.

So far, the project has made a good progress towards Objectives 1 and 2.
Objective 1: In the first period, collecting and preparing the secondary data was an important task that took up several months. Substantially, we documented the outcomes of migrants, both 1st and 2nd generation, in respect to natives and highlighted the differences between origin groups across EU 15 countries and Norway. We mapped the main channels of migration and outlined migrants’ levels of active participation in the labour market and their risk of lapsing from employment into unemployment and inactivity. Several papers are in preparation in WP2. We find that non-economic migrants and especially those fleeing persecution face very large gaps in terms of employment and job quality compared to natives and other migrants. Over time, they catch up which is partly due to a higher probability of improving language skills, taking up host-country nationality or taking up more education. Using Italian, French and Spanish national surveys, we were able to compare the occupational trajectories of immigrants from the last job in the origin country to the first and current job in the destination country. Our papers in preparation show the importance of individual human capital in achieving better-quality employment, but also the large role played by the opportunities within the labour market and the extent to which migrants are able to find good jobs. Importantly, newly arrived immigrants are those who suffer the most from the limited availability of flexible forms of employment.

Objective 2: In the first period, we started intense work on the cross-nationally comparative field experiment, directed to measure and explain ethnic discrimination in the labour market. Besides measuring and describing the extend of ethnic discrimination, the experiment has two additional objectives: First, explaining ethnic discrimination with theories of taste based and statistical discrimination, and second, assessing how national institutions affect ethnic discrimination. The GEMM teams have been extremely busy with preparing the data collection: the research design was completed, treatments were finalized, power analysis was done, occupations were selected, educational levels were harmonized, ethnic groups selected, pictures chosen and edited. Furthermore, a lot of time was invested in the technical realization of the data collection. An extensive pilot to test the design has been carried out in all countries in July and August. A pre-test of pictures and ethnic origins have been carried out already in all countries. The data collection started in September 2016. The fieldwork on qualitative interviews is aimed at taking account of mobility as a complex and dynamic processes, with many decisions made before and along the journey from sending to receiving country. WP4 gives us an insight into the complexity of migrant experience and how it is shaped by individual, contextual and institutional factors. The focus in the first period for WP4 was on the development of the questionnaires and the obtaining of ethical approval for the fieldwork. Thus Objectives 3 through 5 will really be met in the second and third period of the project.

Overall, the first period has been very exciting and we have made steady progress towards reaching our goals.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The GEMM project strives to produce research that is highly usable for policy makers. In order to do so, we implemented an innovative methodological framework that considers different determinants of inequality as a barrier to the smooth functioning of local labour markets. We include multiple units of analysis - the (migrant) individual (WP2 and WP4), the receiving society employers (WP3) and the societal context (WP2 and WP5). Thus, we offer multidimensionality, the consideration of various explanatory mechanisms and causal paths. Moreover we highlight that migrant and minority individuals are embedded in a social and institutional context, which affects ethnic inequality and thus the labour market opportunities in Europe. Our analyses can be used to visualize areas of labour market disadvantage experienced by groups and individuals that need targeted attention with policies from both national and local governments. The qualitative component emphasizes the lived experience of migration and will serve as a basis for specific recommendations of how mobility of skilled migrants can be managed. The reports that we deliver offer a comprehensive perspective on how migration can contribute to growth in Europe.

By engaging a team of experts, renowned in academia and beyond, the GEMM project will provide valuable insights into migration processes in Europe. These insights serve to augment our knowledge of the dynamic nature of mobility and migration, and offer solutions to inform its successful management. In the first period, the focus was on getting access to data, organizing the teams effectively, commencing the work on WP3 and WP4, and WP5, obtaining crucial ethical approval. In the second and third period, we will focus on realizing our ambitious impact agenda. We have started planning the First Roundtable Discussion. This event will take place in London, UK in March 2017, and the Runnymede Trust is assisting us in preparing for the discussion. We are actively engaging our excellent Advisory Board in the relevant phases of the project, particularly in the events such as the Mid-term Conference and Roundtable Discussions.

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