Discussion paper

DP14917 Occupational Sorting and Wage Gaps of Refugees

Refugee workers start low and adjust slowly to the wages of comparable natives. The innovative approach in this study using unique Swedish employer-employee data shows that the observed wage gap between established refugees and comparable natives is mainly caused by occupational sorting into cognitive and manual tasks. Within occupations, it can be largely explained by differences in work experience. The identification strategy relies on a control group of matched natives with the same characteristics as the refugees, using panel data for 2003-2013 to capture unobserved heterogeneity.


Baum, C, H Lööf, A Stephan and K Zimmermann (2020), ‘DP14917 Occupational Sorting and Wage Gaps of Refugees‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 14917. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp14917