International Handbook on the Economics of Migration
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International Handbook on the Economics of Migration

Edited by Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann

Migration economics is a dynamic, fast-growing research area with significant and rising policy relevance. While its scope is continually extending, there is no authoritative treatment of its various branches in one volume. Written by 44 leading experts in the field, this carefully commissioned and refereed Handbook brings together 28 state-of-the-art chapters on migration research and related issues.
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Chapter 28: The evaluation of immigration policies

Ulf Rinne


The persistent gaps in the economic performance between immigrants and natives provide the basis for policy interventions of various kinds. Improving the immigrants’ economic and social performance is a policy challenge of growing importance as many countries will receive – and will need – an increasing number of immigrants in the future. There are various public policies available that include strategies to select immigrants, settlement policies for immigrants upon their arrival in the host country and interventions that aim at improving the outcomes of immigrants after their arrival.1 Economic research, by the means of program evaluation, may help to determine which programs are effective in reaching their goals. This chapter reviews the existing policies, discusses problems associated with the evaluation of these interventions and surveys selected empirical evaluation studies. Although there has been considerable progress in this area, especially in recent years, it appears rather difficult to draw general conclusions from the existing literature. This chapter highlights the few findings that are consistently reported and provides explanations for the scarce evidence so far.

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