Henning Finseraas (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
14 April 2022 @ 14:00 - 15:30
- Past event
“Do Integration Courses Foster Immigrants’ Social and Political Integration? Evidence from Norway”
Abstract. Many European countries have implemented standardized integration courses for new immigrants. While evaluations suggest that these programs may be successful in improving short-term economic outcomes, less is known about their effectiveness in fostering social and political integration. This paper employs administrative data to study the long-term effect of the Norwegian Introductory Program, which consists of two years of full time courses and monetary support. For causal identification, we leverage spatial and temporal variation in program roll-out, and study UN refugees who are assigned to a municipality before arrival. Although we find positive effects of integration courses on short- and long-term economic integration, the results suggest that the program did not meaningfully influence other forms of integration, as measured via individual-level data on intermarriage rates, residential patterns, citizenship, and validated turnout in local and national elections. These findings suggest that policy interventions which promote the economic integration of immigrants may not be sufficient to address gaps across other domains.
Co-authored with Jeremy Ferwerda