The Migration Seminar
The Migration Society 2.0 Lecture Series:
The immigrant-native wage gap: is there a gap and is it "fair"? 

Eva Van Belle is a researcher at the NCCR - on the move and the University of Neuchâtel. She holds a PhD in Economics from Ghent University, and has previously been working as an intern and a consultant for the UNHQ in New York and the ILO in Geneva. Her research interests are in the domain of labour economics, especially labour market discrimination and policy evaluation using experimental methods.

Decades of research on labour market discrimination against immigrants and ethnic minorities has shown that immigrants and children of immigrants have less chances of being hired, and, when they do find a job, have worse career prospects. This lecture focuses on one specific labour market outcome: the salary or wage. The lecture will consist of two parts. In the first part, evidence will be presented from a meta-analysis on whether immigrants earn less for the same job, as compared to natives (the so-called “immigrant-native wage gap”). In the second part, explanations for the existence of such a wage gap will be explored. Indeed, there are many factors that could explain an immigrant-native wage gap, even when controlling for a wide range of variables. Immigrants could for example be less career-oriented or they could feel that they are not in a position to negotiate a better wage. On the other hand, discrimination by employers likely plays an important role as well, and this discriminatory behaviour is possibly influenced by societal attitudes towards immigrants. In this second part, I will present evidence from a survey experiment on the attitudes of the general public towards a “fair” immigrant-native wage gap.

The seminar will be held in English and online. If you would like to participate, send an email to

More information at the Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare website