IZA DP No. 40: Empirical Findings on the Swiss Migration Experience
published in: Klaus F. Zimmermann (ed.): European Migration - What Do We Know?, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005
Switzerland has experienced a substantial influx of immigrants over the last 50 years after World War II, which has led Switzerland to have among the highest share of foreigners in population among all OECD countries. This paper analyses the migration experience of Switzerland. The analysis centers around 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 the shortcomings of the Swiss migration policy, immigrants tend to have a negative impact on the Swiss economy. Second, the analysis of the labour market performance shows that there are substantial discrepancies in the performance between immigrants from different countries of origin. Immigrants from Northern European countries largely outperform immigrants from Southern European and Non-European countries. On the basis of the empirical analysis, this study finally outlines some reform options for the Swiss migration policy.