2004
Volume 25, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424

Abstract

What determines the success that ethnic minorities have in the labour market?

What determines the success that ethnic minorities have in the labour market?

Ethnic minorities hold a much stronger position in the labour market nowadays than they used to some time ago. This improvement started in the middle of the 1990s and is visible in both an absolute sense as well as in relation to the indigenous Dutch. Approximately half the potential labour force of ethnic minorities has a job. Most of these jobs are permanent, are paid well above the statutory minimum wage and are of average professional level. This article addresses the central issue of why some members of ethnic minorities are successful in the labour market while others are not.

The analyses are based on surveys of ethnic minorities in 2002 and 2003 and point to the important role human capital plays in determining the success in the labour market. Social and cultural capital are also of importance here. At most half of the variance of the variables indicating success can be explained by the estimated models, suggesting that other factors also play a role. Interviews with almost a hundred members of ethnic minorities who are successful in the labour market indicate that psychological factors and persistence are probably important here too. A large number of respondents mentioned the stimulating role played by their parents and families, however, the latter's level of education did not seem to be relevant. Successful ethnic minority members often worked for companies that offered them opportunities. This could also be regarded as a factor for success. Finally, many members of ethnic minorities did not consider the government to have been a positive factor in their success.

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2009-12-01
2022-01-24
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