Monday, 11 February, 2019 | 10:00 | Defense - PhD

Vahan Sargsyan: “Essays on Citizenship Policies and Immigrant Integration”

Dissertation Committee:
Jan Hanousek (chair)
Alena Bičáková
Randall K. Filer
Nikolas Mittag
Mariola Pytliková


In the first chapter, we test for differential treatment in the Chinese labor market towards rural migrants with and without urban registration, using data from the Rural to Urban Migration Survey in China. The findings indicate that despite its often-assumed large impact on the differential treatment towards rural migrants, the type of household registration (hukou) is not entirely responsible for the local-migrant differences in total hourly incomes which are not attributable to personal characteristics. The results suggest that even the complete abolishment of the hukou system may at most eliminate only a portion of the disadvantageous treatment towards rural female migrants which is not attributable to differences in personal characteristics, and may even have no measurable impact on rural male migrants working in the paid-employment sector in Chinese urban labor markets.

The second chapter of this work contributes to the existing literature by comparing the employment opportunities and incomes of naturalized and non-naturalized migrants in labor markets of two European countries, France and Denmark, to those of the native population, as well as attempting to estimate the impact of characteristics of a country’s citizenship policy on this relationship. The results suggest the existence of high naturalization premiums and full socioeconomic integration of naturalized migrants in France, a country with relatively soft naturalization policies, but not for Denmark, which has strict naturalization policies.

The third chapter explodes data from three waves of the European Social Survey (2010, 2012, and 2014), in order to estimate the level of integration of first and second generation immigrants in 13 European countries. It covers both individual and socioeconomic integration of immigrants through subjectively reported answers of individuals to survey questions, including their occupational status and net household income level. It also covers the naturalization premiums of first generation immigrants and the attitude of the native population towards new immigrants. Moreover, by categorizing the selected countries based on the strictness of their naturalization policies expressed through the level of favorability for immigrants, we attempt to estimate the relationship between these policies and the integration of immigrants. The results show no evidence of better integration of immigrants in the observed countries with stricter citizenship policies.


Full Text: “Essays on Citizenship Policies and Immigrant Integration” by Vahan Sargsyan.