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Immigration Policy Regimes, Welfare States, and Urban Inequality Patterns: A Comparison between Malmö and Genoa
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Linköping University.
2016 (English)In: European Urban and Regional Studies, ISSN 0969-7764, E-ISSN 1461-7145, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 862-877Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a general consensus that welfare states influence urban inequality patterns in cities experiencing increases in immigration. Whereas much of existing research focused on the extent to which welfare states affect the well beingof immigrants after their admission, this study focuses on how immigration policy regimes affect the extent to which immigrant flows and the related labour supply match variations and fluctuations in the composition of demand in urban labour markets. In particular, the article develops a comparison between Malmö and Genoa, an Italian and a Swedish city with similar urban histories that display considerably different urban inequality patterns. Immigration to Malmö was fuelled largely by humanitarian emergencies in the countries of origin and occurred in a period of economic decline for the city. The growth of the immigrant population was associated with a worsening of the labour market situation for immigrants and an increase in ethnic residential segregation. Immigration to Genoa was mainly driven by demand for cheap labour, particularly in the private-care sector. Therefore, the growth of the immigrant population was associated with an ethnic segmentation of the labour market, but it also resulted in a more dispersed distribution of immigrants in this city than in Malmö. The differences in the urban inequality patterns in Malmö and Genoa can be only partly explained by policies affecting the living conditions of admitted immigrants. An important role has been also played by the immigration policy regimes of the two countries, which prescribed the integration potential of immigrant flows.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016. Vol. 23, no 4, p. 862-877
Keywords [en]
Immigration Policy Regime, Residential Segregation, Immigration, Urban Inequality
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Humanities, Human Geography; Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39304DOI: 10.1177/0969776415578199ISI: 000385668100020Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84989877918OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-39304DiVA, id: diva2:782501
Available from: 2015-01-21 Created: 2015-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The spatial manifestation of inequality: Residential segregation in Sweden and its causes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The spatial manifestation of inequality: Residential segregation in Sweden and its causes
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis examines the relationship between income inequality and residential segregation in Swedish cities. In recent years, in Sweden, much attention has been given to the direction of causality from residential segregation to income inequality. Residential segregation is considered to lead to a differentiation of opportunities between neighbourhoods and, therefore, to be a contributing factor to or even a major cause of income inequality in cities. The thesis focuses on the opposite direction of causality, from income inequality to residential segregation. In fact, residential segregation can also be seen as the spatial manifestation of existing disparities in income distribution, since residential location choices are always (although not exclusively) made within a predetermined framework of economic constraints.

Specifically, two research questions are addressed in this thesis. What institutional factors, in the Swedish context, favour the transformation of the social divide between specific population subgroups into a spatial divide between those groups? To what extent and in what ways does income inequality contribute to the development of residential segregation in Swedish cities?

The first part of the thesis explains why Swedish cities are characterized by higher levels of residential segregation than cities of other countries characterized by higher levels of income inequality. The historical and comparative analyses developed in the first two studies indicate that it is not so much the magnitude of immigration that accounts for this difference between Swedish cities and their more unequal counterparts in other countries but, rather, the institutional factors influencing the modes of incorporation of immigrants into cities.

The second part of the thesis analyses how, in recent decades, the increase in income inequality has influenced residential segregation patterns in Malmö and in the three major Swedish metropolitan areas. The third and the fourth study show that, during the studied period, the widening of income disparities between neighbourhoods mirrored the general upward trend in income inequality in the population. The growth of the immigrant population contributed only slightly to this trend and income inequality was primarily driven by changes in the distribution of market incomes. During the late study period, however, income sorting processes have played a steadily more important role in contributing to economic residential segregation. Therefore, neighbourhood-based urban policies have not succeeded to reverse, or even just impede, the trend towards an increased spatial clustering of poverty and wealth in Swedish cities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2015
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 201/2015
Keywords
residential segregation, income inequality, immigration, immigration policy regime, welfare state, housing, Sweden, Malmö, Genoa, Swedish metropolitan areas
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology; Social Sciences, Social Work; Social Sciences, Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39308 (URN)978-91-87925-32-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-02-27, Sal Myrdal, Hus K, Växjö, Linnéuniversitetet, Växjö, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-01-22 Created: 2015-01-21 Last updated: 2015-01-22Bibliographically approved

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