Policymakers often emphasise the importance of socially integrating immigrants into their new environment in order to promote cohesion within society and, hence, to foster public acceptance of immigration. For researchers, however, the social integration of immigrants represents a challenging field. What does the concept of social integration actually mean? How can we measure the outcomes? Which policies can accelerate the social integration of immigrants?
These questions will be addressed at the next MEDAM Seminar with Christina Gathmann, Professor of Economics at the University of Heidelberg. Prof. Gathmann will present findings of her recent research on access to citizenship and the social integration of immigrants, focusing on marriage decisions, divorce rates and fertility. Her empirical analysis draws on two immigration reforms in Germany, which made some immigrant cohorts eligible to acquire citizenship earlier than others.
The presentation will be followed by a more general discussion of the drivers of social integration and possible lessons for the EU and national policymakers.