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Barriers to Access?

Immigrant Origin and Occupational Regulation

Andreea Ioana Alecu and Ida Drange

Abstract

European labour markets have become increasingly accessible to foreign workers because of increased global migration and the implementation of international labour mobility agreements. Yet, skilled immigrants have lower occupational attainment. The regulated occupations, however, are more inclusive of immigrants than unregulated occupations. This article investigates immigrants’ likelihood of gaining access to licensed occupations in Norway, as well as how this varies between regions of origin and between immigrants with a foreign or domestic degree to determine whether employment outcomes are due to different impacts of regulatory frameworks. The empirical investigation uses administrative register data that cover the years 2003–2012. The results show that there are no significant differences between the immigrant groups with a domestic degree, while the results for immigrants with foreign degrees signal that without international agreements on mutual recognition of education credentials, those who are educated for a licensed profession are somewhat restricted in performing it.