Next Year in Jerusalem … or in Cologne? Labour Market Integration of Jewish Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel and Germany in the 1990s
Topics: Aliyah, Immigration, Work, Employment, Integration, Russian Emigration, Main Topic: Demography and Migration
Abstract: This article focuses on how receiving societies’ structural and institutional characteristics affect immigrants’ labour market performance and progress. Using German census data for 1996 and 2000, and Israeli labour force surveys for the same years, the article compares patterns of self-selection and labour market integration of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU) in Israel and Germany during the 1990s. The greater rigidity of the German labour market as compared with the Israeli, combined with the more generous benefits provided to FSU immigrants by the German than the Israeli state, explain many of the cross-national differences in initial labour market performance (unemployment level and occupational status) and labour market progress of FSU immigrants in Israel and Germany. However, contrary to economic theories of immigrant selectivity, we found no appreciable differences in patterns of educational self-selection of immigrants to Israel and Germany.