IMFS researcher Robert Beyer analyzes labor market performance of immigrants for the IMF

In view of the current refugee surge to Europe IMFS researcher Robert Beyer has analyzed during a research stay at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) how immigrants to Germany performed at the labor market over the course of 40 years. Beyer comes to the conclusion that the probability of unemployment is initially 7 percentage points higher for recently arrived immigrants than for natives with a similar qualification.

It takes about 20 years for the immigrants to fully participate in the labor market, Beyer writes. But even in the long run, the unemployment rate remains 3 percentage points higher among immigrants. As for the wages, immigrants earn 20 percent less than natives with similar characteristics when they arrive in the country. Immigrants without German writing skills or a German degree have a wage gap of 30 percent. Good German writing skills close the gap by twelve percentage points and a German degree by another sic percentage points.

This study was first published as IMF Working Paper 16/6. The findings of this study also formed part of the IMF Staff Discussion Note SDN/16/02 „The Refugee Surge in Europe: Economic Challenges“. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde presented the outcome of this study at the World Economic Forum 2016 in Davos.


IMF Working Paper 16/6
Robert C. M. Beyer
The Labor Market Performance of Immigrants in Germany

IWF-Pressemitteilung zur Studie
Staff Discussion Note SDN/16/02 „The Refugee Surge in Europe: Economic Challenges“ (PDF)

The study in the media:
Der Spiegel (27.02.16): "Jetzt klotzen!"
Spiegel Online International: "The Refugee Bill - budget battle begins over Germany's new residents"
Die Welt: "Flüchtlinge können Deutschland helfen - aber es wird teuer"
Financial Times (paywall link)