The Labor Market Performance of Naturalized Immigrants in Switzerland—New Findings from the Swiss Labor Force Survey

  • Max Friedrich SteinhardtEmail author
  • Jan Wedemeier


The objective of this paper is to obtain new empirical insights into the integration of naturalized immigrants in Switzerland. In particular, we focus on a comparison of first-generation immigrants with and without Swiss citizenship. The analysis on the basis of the 2008 wave of the Swiss Labor Force Survey is motivated by findings in the literature highlighting the role of the acquisition of citizenship in the integration process. In line with those findings, our results demonstrate that naturalized first-generation immigrants tend to have higher wages than non-naturalized immigrants. An applied Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition technique demonstrates that this result is strongly connected to the higher human capital endowments of immigrants who have attained Swiss citizenship. The findings are in line with other case studies stating that immigrants positively select into citizenship.


Citizenship Naturalization Socioeconomic integration 

JEL Codes

F22 J61 J68 



Very useful comments were provided by Urs Fischli, Mario Gattiker, Markus Peek, Kurt Rohner, and Thomas Straubhaar. The research assistance of Sibille Duss is gratefully acknowledged. We would especially like to thank the editors and two anonymous referees for suggestions that substantially improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano (LdA)HamburgGermany
  2. 2.Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI)HamburgGermany

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