Turkish migrants and native Germans compared: The effect of inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic friendships on the transition from unemployment to work
Political and social Sciences European University Institute San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy
Institute of Social and Political Opinion Research (ISPO) K.U. Leuven Leuven, Belgium
In many European countries, certain groups of migrants are more frequently, and longer unemployed than native residents. One of the factors affecting labour market outcomes is the social capital a person holds. Especially ties bridging between different networks is found to contribute to achieve success on the labour market. However, it is not clear from the pertinent literature to what extent bridging social capital also affects the duration of unemployment. Moreover, there is not much known about whether the effects of bridging social capital are different for immigrants and native residents.
Comparing Turkish and native residents in Germany, we investigate in this paper to what extent social capital can help reducing the duration of unemployment. More specifically, we analyse whether having inter-ethnic and/or intra-ethnic friendships can be associated with shorter unemployment duration. With data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Survey (GOSOEP) we estimate an event history model and find that for native Germans, intra-ethnic friendships lower unemployment duration, whereas inter-ethnic friendships do not. For Turks, inter-ethnic friendships reduce the unemployment duration, whereas intra-ethnic friendships do not. In other words, only having German friends facilitates the transition to employment, for both Turks and Germans, but in particular for the first generation Turkish migrants.