Partnership formation and labour market status among children of immigrants in Switzerland

Eder Andrés Guarin Rojas, Université de Lausanne
Helga A. G. de Valk, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Laura Bernardi, Université de Lausanne

In Europe, early researches interested in children of immigrants have started to 90s, these early works were heavily influenced by the theories developed in the United States. However, in comparison with this American theories, in Europe the difference within ethnic groups take an important role (Crul & Vermeulen, 2003; Doomernik, 1998; Fibbi, Lerch, & Wanner, 2010; Lucassen, 2005). Using the SHP (Swiss Household Panel) survey this paper investigates the relationship between partnership formation and the labour market position among children of immigrants in Switzerland. More precisely, we will look at the processes of partnership formation (covering both married and unmarried cohabitation) and aim to understand how partnership formation can play a role in the professional status (employed-unemployed, occupational attainment) of children of immigrants. The Swiss case is an interesting and relevant one given the growing share of children of immigrants (Marks, 2005), those who were born in Switzerland but have at least one foreign born parent. Furthermore Switzerland has a migration history with people coming for different reasons and from both the neighboring countries as well as from other parts of the world. This allows for a comparative approach that pays attention to diversity in different paths into adulthood both in the private and public domain. First preliminary findings show that there exist differences in partnership formation and professional work, between natives and population with immigrant origins. The timing of the transition to a first union, and cohabitation (married or unmarried) are relatively different for the population with immigrant origins. We can also find greater disadvantages as regards the labour market status for certain groups of children of immigrants. Keywords: Partnership formation, Professional status, Children of immigrants

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Presented in Session 41: Work-family dynamics among immigrant populations