Integrating Immigrants by Addressing Labor Shortages? A Policy Evaluation


We evaluate the effect on newly arrived refugees’ employment of a new policy, introduced in Denmark in 2013, that matched refugees to occupations with local labor shortages after basic training for those jobs. Leveraging the staggered roll-out across municipalities, we find that the policy increased employment by 5.4-5.8 percentage points one year after arrival and 8.6 percentage points two years after. The policy was especially effective for male refugees with some secondary edu- cation. The findings suggest that this type of policy could alleviate long-term labor shortages and integrate low-skilled immigrants, while having minimal competition effects on natives.