Migration and Integration: Austrian and California Experiences with Low-Skilled Migrants


  • Gudrun Biffl Emeritus Professor, Donau-Universitat Krems
  • Philip L. Martin University of California, Davis




Refugee studies, Syrian refugees in Turkey, labor market, housing market, healthcare services


This paper examines migrant-integration policies and outcomes in Austria and California, with a special focus on recently arrived low-skilled migrants. Unlike native-born workers, who form a broad diamond shape when arrayed by their level of education to reflect the large share who have completed secondary school but did not earn university degrees, foreign-born workers have more of an hourglass or barbell shape, including some who have more than a first university degree and many who have not completed secondary school. Austria promotes a stepwise approach to the labor market integration of recently arrived refugees, viz, language and skills training before employment, under the theory that investing in people first will raise their long-run earnings. California expects newly arrived migrants to use family and social networks to find jobs and housing to support themselves without government assistance.


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How to Cite

Biffl, G. and Martin, P. L. (2018) “Migration and Integration: Austrian and California Experiences with Low-Skilled Migrants”, Border Crossing. London, UK, 8(1), pp. 30–39. doi: 10.33182/bc.v8i1.585.