Sociological Science, 3, 2016
This article assesses whether two integration policy measures (labor market training and counseling) reach the immigrants who need them and whether these policies improve immigrants’ labor market situations. We first examine the comprehensiveness of integration policies by linking Migration Integration Policy Index scores of immigrants’ labor market mobility with levels of immigrant participation in labor market training and counseling in 15 European countries. We find that provision with labor market training does not entirely correspond to policy intentions, whereas labor market counseling more closely achieves policies’ proclaimed aims. Second, we carry out propensity score matching analysis to estimate the effectiveness of immigrants’ integration policies. We find that labor market training and counseling do not improve immigrants’ employability or job status in three of the four analyzed countries, which lends weak support to the productivity skills argument, emphasizing instead the validity of the signaling and selection perspectives.
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