Essays on economic outcomes of immigrants and homosexuals

University dissertation from Växjö : Växjö University Press

Abstract: This thesis consists of five essays on the economic outcomes of immigrants and homosexuals on the labour and housing market.Essay I evaluates the effect of an in-work benefit on the labour supply of single immigrant women by means of simulation. Although, on average, there is no significant effect, we find that the in-work benefit increases the working hours of single women with low incomes and slightly decreases the working hours of those with high incomes. The increase in working hours is primarily a result of increased participation. As expected, the positive effect is largest for the immigrant groups with the lowest participation rates and lowest labour incomes.Essay II studies intergenerational transmissions in self-employment. The results show that immigrants transfer general human capital over three generations in the sense that individuals whose fathers and grandfathers are self-employed have a higher self-employment propensity. For natives, only the father’s self-employment affects the son’s probability of becoming self-employed. Furthermore, the results show that natives transfer specific human capital from father to son, which increases the probability of sons becoming self-employed in the industry in which their fathers are self-employed.Essay III explores the effect of self-employment experience on subsequent earnings and the employment of male and female immigrant wage earners. We find that, relative to continued wage employment, self-employment is associated with lower earnings and difficulties in returning to paid employment for both immigrant men and women. The effect is less severe for natives. Among immigrant groups, the results give little support that self-employment experience improves earnings and employment prospects compared to experience from wage employment. Essay IV applies a field experiment to investigate how increasing the information about applicants affects discrimination against male Arab/Muslim applicants on the rental housing market. The Arab/Muslim applicants received fewer responses from the landlords than did the Swedish applicants. All of the applicants gained by providing more information about themselves, but the magnitude of discrimination against the Arab/Muslim applicants remained unchanged, indicating that increasing the amount of applicant information will not reduce discrimination.Essay V studies possible discrimination against lesbians in the rental housing market using a field experiment. We let two fictitious couples, one heterosexual and one homosexual, apply for vacant apartments on the Internet. We then explored if there were differences in callbacks, invitations to further contact and/or showings. The results show no indication of differential treatment of lesbians by landlords.

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