A Relational Inequality Approach to First- and Second- Generation Immigrant Earnings in German Workplaces

  • Authors
  • Melzer, Silvia Maja; Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald; Schunck, Reinhard; Jacobebbinghaus, Peter
  • UPF authors
  • MELZER , SILVIA MAJA;
  • Type
  • Scholarly articles
  • Journal títle
  • Social forces
  • Publication year
  • 2018
  • Volume
  • 97
  • Number
  • 1
  • Pages
  • 91-128
  • ISSN
  • 0037-7732
  • Publication State
  • Published
  • Abstract
  • We conceptualize immigrant incorporation as a categorically driven process and contrast the bright distinctions between first-generation immigrants and natives, with more blurry second-generation contrasts. We analyze linked employer-employee data of a sample of 5,097 employees in 97 large German organizations and focus on first- and second-generation immigrants. We explore how generational status in the labor market and workplace contexts expands and contracts native-immigrant wage inequalities. We find a substantial average first-generation immigrant-native wage gap, which is not explained by individual human capital differences or most aspects of organizational context. In contrast, there is, on average, no second-generation wage gap, but there are substantial variations across workplaces. A series of results confirm predictions from relational inequality theory. For both first- and second-generation immigrants, working in a high-inequality workplace is associated with larger wage gaps. Second-generation immigrants perform better in workplaces where they have intersectional advantages over natives, and for first-generation immigrants collective bargaining protection narrows wage gaps with natives. Consistent with ethnic competition theory, in workplaces with very high shares of immigrant workers, the first-generation¿native wage gap is larger. In contrast, increased contact between native Germans and second-generation immigrant coworkers reduces earnings gaps, but only up to a tipping point, after which competition processes reappear and earning gaps widen.
  • Complete citation
  • Melzer, Silvia Maja; Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald; Schunck, Reinhard; Jacobebbinghaus, Peter. A Relational Inequality Approach to First- and Second- Generation Immigrant Earnings in German Workplaces. Social forces 2018; 97(1): 91-128.
Bibliometric indicators
  • 11 times cited Scopus
  • 10 times cited WOS
  • Índex Scimago de 2.91 (2018)