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The Junior Research Group investigated immigration policies across all OECD countries. How restrictive are national immigration policies? How can we explain country differences and changes over time? And what are the effects of these policies? To answer these questions the formal regulations, control mechanisms and the implementation procedures were studied.

In a first step, a set of sophisticated quantitative indicators was created to measure the restrictiveness of immigration policies in all OECD countries differentiating between labour migration, family reunification, asylum seekers/refugees and access rights for co-nationals.

The resulting innovative dataset opened new research perspectives and allowed for testing of already existing arguments about causes and effects of immigration policies in a more systematic way.

In the second part of the project, the implementation processes of immigration policies have been studied by means of detailed case studies. More generally, this part of the project was seeking to investigate the black box of the administrative decision-making processes. This helped to better understand the link between formal legislation and the outcome of immigration policies.

Since May 2011 the group has been financially supported by the Emmy Noether Programme of the German Research Foundation.