The role of social capital in the labour market integration of immigrants in Hungary

Irén Gödri, Demographic Research Institute, Budapest

Integration into the labour market is one of the crucial elements in the overall integration process of immigrants. The individual characteristics of immigrants, the local characteristics of the labour market, the immigration policy of the receiving country, together with the presence and position of immigrant’s ethnic community in the country all influence the chances of integration. However, personal contacts also often play a vital role in finding work and on attained statuses. The poster examines the labour market integration of immigrants from the neighbouring countries in Hungary, and the factors influencing this process as revealed by a longitudinal survey. Our analysis explores two major areas: • The success in labour market integration, and the role played by social capital; • The use of social contacts in finding employment, and the role played by strong and week ties. Besides basic socio-demographic characteristics (sex, age) and factors specific to migration (year of arrival, country of origin), we take into account the following three groups of factors as playing a part in the success of labour market integration: human capital (level of education, language skills, previous status in labour market); ethnic capital (nationality, citizenship); and social capital where we distinguish potential social capital (accessed social contacts before migration) and mobilized social capital (help provided by social contacts in finding job). We use the method of logistic regression in order to explore which of the components of the above listed factors increased the chances of successful labour market integration and the chances of finding employment through personal contact. On the basis of our analysis it turns out that while in the first phase after migration mobilized social capital played a crucial role, in the long run the importance of social capital decreases and the human capital components determine the integration in the labour market.

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Presented in Poster Session 2