Chapter 1: Ethnic Minorities in the European Union: An Overview
1. Ethnic minorities in the European Union: an overview Martin Kahanec, Anzelika Zaiceva and Klaus F. Zimmermann Social and economic exclusion remains an everyday challenge to millions of members of ethnic minorities living in Europe today. Underlying differences between ethnic minorities and majority populations, as defined by their cultural and ethnic backgrounds, often correlate with gaps in their labor market outcomes. Being a member of an ethnic minority per se often bears a disadvantage in terms of relative labor market outcomes vis-à-vis the majority population. Integration challenges appear in a variety of forms, from unequal access to health care and social services to unemployment, underemployment, and substandard remuneration of individuals belonging to different ethnic minorities. Labor market segmentation is a particularly worrisome issue, since equal labor market opportunities are a cornerstone for achieving not only a high quality of life for minorities themselves but also prosperity and social cohesion for society at large. This chapter aims to shed light upon the labor market situation of ethnic minorities across the EU with respect to the corresponding majority populations. By doing so, it provides the benchmark for a more detailed analysis that follows in the subsequent chapters. To this end it is necessary to first discuss some methodological issues related to the definition and measurement of ethnic minorities. We then examine the highlights of previous research on this topic and report and interpret some aggregate statistics describing interethnic gaps in labor market outcomes in Europe. Finally, we measure the effects of...
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