IZA DP No. 8065: Economic Integration of Intermarried Labour Migrants, Refugees and Family Migrants to Sweden: Premium or Selection?
We use Swedish register data to compare the employment and income of immigrants who intermarry natives versus those of immigrants who intramarry other immigrants in Sweden. We conduct the same analyses on three subsamples: labour migrants, refugees and family migrants. We find that intermarried immigrants outperformed intramarried ones in employment rates and salaries before and after marriage, in 1997 and 2007 respectively, and the same in true for each of the three subsamples analyzed. There is a statistically significant difference in income growth between intermarried and intramarried immigrants within that time period, but this difference is only significant for the subsample of family migrants. Finally, the upward mobility in employment status between 1997 and 2007 is higher for intermarried immigrants than for intramarried ones, with this being also the case for each of the three groups of labour migrants, refugees and family migrants. Our findings provide evidence to support both the selection hypothesis and the intermarriage premium hypothesis for the whole group of immigrants to Sweden. They also fully support the selection hypothesis for labour and family migrants but only partially for refugees; whereas they fully confirm the intermarriage premium hypothesis for family migrants but only partially for refugees and labour migrants.