Migration and Integration

Research Focus

The research group “Migration and Integration” was established in 2015 in order to strengthen one of the core research focuses of the research department “Labor Markets, Education, Population”. The group undertakes empirical research on the causes and consequences of migration. It specifically engages in the analysis of the economic and social integration of immigrants as well as on the consequences of migration for the immigrants’ source country.

Within the first research focus, it is of main interest how immigrants’ economic, social, and cultural background influences their integration and assimilation. The research acknowledges that immigrants are heterogeneous with respect to their labor market experience, their migration history as well as their cultural and linguistic background. These factors in turn are crucial for immigrants’ economic and social integration in the host-country’s society.

Besides investigating immigrants’ integration and assimilation, the group examines the decision to migrate and the determinants of migrants’ location choice. This involves analyses of the regional mobility of immigrants within Germany as well as the location decisions of migrants to the European Union. The essential focus of these analyses is to investigate the role of regional economic and demographic factors as well as ethnic networks in the location choice of migrants. 

While most research is directed towards the determinants of emigration and the problems of integration faced by immigrants in their host country, the research group also addresses the consequences of migration for the source countries. A particular emphasis is directed towards the role remittances play in developing countries. Specifically, the group analyzes the effect of remittances on the households left behind in terms of their spending behavior as well as the household members’ health and education.  

From a methodological point of view, the empirical analyses are mostly based on individual-level micro data, which are often augmented with aggregate data at the country or regional level (of the source and host country, respectively).