DP1791 | Migration to Switzerland: Some New Evidence

Publication Date

31/01/1998

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Abstract

Switzerland has experienced a substantial influx of immigrants over the 50 years since World War II, to the extent that it now has one of the highest share of foreigners in population among OECD countries. This paper analyses Switzerland?s experience of migration, centring on two main issues: the economic effects of migration and the labour market performance of immigrants. Two main results emerge from our study: first, as a result of shortcomings of the Swiss migration policy, immigrants tend to have a negative impact on the Swiss economy; and second, the analysis of labour market performance shows that there are substantial discrepancies in the performance of immigrants from different countries of origin. Immigrants from North European countries largely outperform immigrants from South European and non-European countries. On the basis of the empirical analysis, this study finally outlines some reform options for Swiss migration policy.