Wage Policies and the Integration of Immigrants

Reprint No. 2019:24

Author(s): Simon Ek and Per SkedingerYear: 2019 Title: Integrating Immigrants into the Nordic Labour Markets Chapter: 8Editor(s): Lars Calmfors and Nora Sánchez GassenPublisher: Nordic Council of MinistersCity: Copenhagen, Denmark Pages: 187–209

Wage Policies and the Integration of Immigrants Simon Ek and Per Skedinger

Most Nordic countries struggle with the integration of low-skilled immigrants. Relying on research from primarily the Nordics, we discuss to what extent minimum wage reductions can improve labour market prospects for immigrants, whether unskilled and low-pay jobs serve as stepping stones to more qualified and higher-paid jobs and how wages of incumbent workers would be affected by lower minimum wages. We argue that targeted minimum wage reductions aimed at new, previously non-existing jobs and increased differentiation of minimum wages according to experience provide an appropriate balance between the conflicting goals of high employment and low wage inequality.

Ek, Simon and Per Skedinger (2019), "Wage Policies and the Integration of Immigrants". Chapter 8, pp. 187–209 in Lars Calmfors and Nora Sánchez Gassen, eds., Integrating Immigrants into the Nordic Labour Markets. Copenhagen, Denmark: Nordic Council of Ministers.

Per Skedinger


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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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