Volume 28 - Article 19 | Pages 547–580

Occupational trajectories and occupational cost among Senegalese immigrants in Europe

By Ognjen Obućina

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Date received:18 Sep 2011
Date published:19 Mar 2013
Word count:9478
Keywords:Africa, immigrants, migration, occupational attainment, occupational cost, occupational mobility


Background: Immigration from Africa to Europe has increased substantially in recent decades. The main goal of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of contemporary international migration processes by analyzing the occupational trajectories and occupational costs of Senegalese immigrants in three major European destination countries (France, Italy, and Spain).

Objective: The first objective is to compare the occupational attainment of the Senegalese immigrants before and after migration to Europe, as well as to establish the determinants of the immigrants’ occupational attainment and occupational mobility levels after migration. Another major goal is to estimate the occupational cost of migration from Senegal to Europe. The central question this study intends to answer is how much, in terms of occupational status, Senegalese immigrants renounce by migrating to Europe, in both the short and the long term.

Methods: The data stem from the Senegalese sample of the MAFE dataset. The standard OLS techniques are used in the analysis of occupational attainment, while discrete-time multinomial logit is used in the section on occupational mobility. The principal techniques for the estimation of occupational cost of migration are random effects with Mundlak correction and nearest-neighbor matching.

Results: There is a U-shaped pattern of occupational mobility among Senegalese immigrants in Europe: the average occupational status of this group drops just after arrival in Europe, and then slowly improves with the duration of stay. The multivariate analysis reveals that education acquired in Europe plays an especially important role in the successful participation of this immigrant group in the labor market. The results show that there is a statistically significant occupational cost of migration from Senegal to Europe, but that the cost decreases with the duration of stay in Europe.

Author's Affiliation

Ognjen Obućina - Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), France [Email]

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» Mixed marriages between immigrants and natives in Spain: The gendered effect of marriage market constraints
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» Depressed fertility among descendants of immigrants in Sweden
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» Marriage and divorce of immigrants and descendants of immigrants in Sweden
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