Metropolitan labour markets, peripheral labour markets and socio-economic outcomes among immigrants to Israel

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This article focuses on the impact of the local opportunity structure on socio-economic outcomes of recent immigrants to Israel. Specifically, it examines the extent to which metropolitan labour markets versus peripheral labour markets differentially affect socio-economic incorporation of recent "Russian" immigrants who arrived in Israel after the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1989. Using the 1995 Israeli Census of Population, the analyses address the following questions: (1) were recent immigrants differentially sorted to local labour markets; (2) do local labour markets differentially affect socio-economic attainment; and (3) do modes of socio-economic attainment and patterns of ethnic inequality differ across metropolitan and peripheral labour markets? The analyses reveal that immigrants from the European republics and of lower education are more likely to settle in peripheral labour markets than in metropolitan labour markets. Peripheral labour markets, compared with metropolitan labour markets, have detrimental consequences for the socio-economic outcomes of immigrants. The data do not provide strong support for the thesis that patterns of socio-economic attainment and inequality differ much across labour markets. The rules according to which socio-economic attainment of immigrants is determined are, for the most part, similar across labour markets. In general, occupational status and earnings of immigrants are likely to increase with the passage of time, education, European origin; and to decline with age regardless of type of the local labour market. However, the socio-economic outcomes of immigrants are considerably higher in the metropolis than in the periphery. The findings suggest that the local labour market plays a major role in the determination of immigrants' socio-economic rewards and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-119
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Migration
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


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