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Immigrants typically perform much worse than natives in the labor market. Focusing on amendments to German citizenship law enacted since reunification, in this video, CHRISTINA GATHMANN examines the impact of those reforms on the integration of immigrants in the German labor market. The study finds that the German liberalization of citizenship policy by shortening residency requirements improved both employment rates and wages for immigrants. With particularly positive effects being identifiable for marginalized groups (women and those originating from poorer countries), the research has important implications for national and international debates on immigration, integration, and equality.


Christina Gathmann is Professor of Economics at Heidelberg University. Having completed her PhD at the University of Chicago, she has also held research posts at Stanford University. Her main research interests include Labor Economics, Health Economics, Immigration, and, Policy Evaluation. She sits on advisory boards for the German Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology and the Bremen Research Initiative (BRISE). Christina Gathmann received a Young Economist Award from the European Economic Association in 2003.


Heidelberg University (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg)

"Heidelberg University, founded in 1386, is Germany’s oldest university and one of the strongest research universities in all of Europe. The successes in both rounds of the Excellence Initiative and in internationally recognised rankings prove that Heidelberg’s excellent reputation and leading role in the scientific community are well deserved. In terms of educating students and promoting promising early-career academics, Heidelberg relies on research-based teaching and an outstanding, well-structured training for doctoral candidates. Heidelberg University is a comprehensive university, offering the full spectrum of disciplines in the humanities, law and the social sciences alongside the natural and life sciences, including medicine. As a comprehensive university, Heidelberg aims to continue to strengthen the individual disciplines and to further interdisciplinary cooperation, as well as to carry research results over into society and industry. With its aspiration of connecting traditional values with future-oriented scientific concepts in research and teaching, the university is building bridges to the future – Zukunft. Seit 1386." ( Source )
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Original publication

Access to Citizenship and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants

Keller Nicolas and Gathmann Chrstina
The Economic Journal
Published in 2017

Citizenship and the Social Integration of Immigrants: Evidence from Germany's Immigration Reforms

Gathmann Christina, Keller Nicolas and Monscheuer Ole
Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolit
Published in 2015