Gender and Migration on the Labour Market: Additive or Interacting Disadvantages in Germany?


Theoretical background and objectives

Existing research on the labour market integration of immigrants usually focuses on male immigrants, comparing them to native males. So far, only few studies have addressed the labour market integration of female immigrants and again, these studies are mostly limited to comparisons between women with and without a migration background. The aim of this project is to conduct a double comparison and to analyse the joint effects of gender and migration background on a number of labour market outcomes. A double comparison is needed because native women and men differ in their labour market behaviour, yet it is not known to what extent these gender differences extend to the migrant population – in fact, gender differences may be larger or smaller among immigrants and their descendants than in the native origin population.

Research design, data and methodology

Data from the most recent German microcensus are used to analyse the research question. In addition to providing abundant information about labour market behaviour, this data source makes it possible to identify foreign-born immigrants and local-born children of immigrants and to distinguish a number of migrant groups based on their country or region of origin. Thus, we can examine whether gender differences in labour market behaviour differ between migrants and non-migrants and between different subgroups of migrants.


We find considerable variation in gender gaps in labour market behaviour between East and West Germany, across ethnic groups and across generations. Intergenerational comparisons show that most ethnic minorities assimilate towards German patterns of gendered labour market attainment.

Main content

Selected Publications

Fleischmann, Fenella/Höhne, Jutta (2013): "Gender and Migration on the Labour Market. Additive or Interacting Disadvantages in Germany?". In: Social Science Research, Vol. 42, No. 5, S. 1325-1345. (Vorab online publiziert 30. Mai 2013)