Out now: How one gesture curbed ethnic discrimination

Can a single gesture really reduce ethnic discrimination in the housing market? In very specific situations, it does indeed appear so! In an article out now at the European Journal of Political Research, jointly with Daniel Auer, we combine a natural experiment with a controlled field experiment to show that after the controversial double-headed Eagle gesture by Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Stephan Lichtsteiner led to lower levels of discrimination in the Swiss housing market for at least 3 months — that’s when our observations end.

We discuss the enormous attention the gesture got, but also what made the situation so special: a discussion of double loyalties, immigrant integration, etc. in a positive context. While research has focused on the drivers of exclusion and discrimination, here we hope to contribute something that helps us understand how to counter these negative factors.

Auer, Daniel, and Didier Ruedin. 2022. ‘How One Gesture Curbed Ethnic Discrimination’. European Journal of Political Research. DOI: 10.1111/1475-6765.12547

Do policies matter? Exploring the Links between Indicators of Integration Policies and Outcomes through MIPEX

Our friends over at MPG are organizing a webinar on the impact of policies. Let’s be frank here, questions of causality will be a challenge, but with the data collected by MIPEX we’ll surely be able to make some headway in this crucial question:

‘Do policies matter? Exploring the Links between Indicators of Integration Policies and Outcomes through MIPEX‘. The webinar addresses what policymakers should know about the impacts of integration policies and what researchers should investigate in the future.

When? 28th May 2021 at 2PM CET

Where? Zoom

Registration and agenda here:



Welcome and introduction – Giacomo Solano, Head of Research, MPG

Exploring the links between MIPEX and migrant integration outcomes: Lessons learned and new avenues for research – Thomas Huddleston, Research and Strategic Advisor, MPG and Giacomo Solano, Head of Research, MPG

2.25PM-2.45PM The effect of integration policies: which policies do matter and for whom?

Sol Juarez, Associate Professor in Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University

Maarten Vink, Professor of Citizenship Studies, European University Institute

Conrad Ziller, Assistant Professor in Political Sciences, University of Duisburg-Essen

C4P: Workshop on Survey Experiments in Migration and Integration Research

Flavia Fossati and I are organizing an international workshop on “Survey Experiments in Migration and Integration Research” and would like to cordially invite you to contribute a paper to this event, which will be hosted at the University of Lausanne (IDHEAP) on June 4-5th 2020.

This is the third meeting of a series of international workshops previously held in Switzerland at the Universities of Lausanne and Berne that aim at gathering experts on the topic and to have in-depth discussions on their work in progress.

In this edition of the Survey Experiment in Migration and Integration Research, we will have a few different panels that focus on the survey experiment methodology and others that focus more on the immigration and integration research that is carried out by means of such experimental methods.

The event will be accompanied by two keynote speeches, one by Prof. Katrin Auspurg (University of Munich) and Prof. Donald Green (Columbia University).

Please apply by following this link: http://idheap.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8B2srd4kq2HIyEd

Deadline February 15th 2020.

New Literature Study: Links between migration, integration and return

Today I present you a new literature study on the links between migration, integration, and return we (SFM, ICMPD) have carried out for the State Secretariat for Migration SEM.

The literature review is available as a report in German and in a French translation, with a summary by the government also available. The literature examines the interdependencies of migration, integration, and return with a focus on Switzerland.

We  cite research highlighting that waiting periods and unemployment in the asylum system in the long term lead to higher costs for the host society if asylum seekers will eventually stay — as is often the case for applicants from some countries of origin. Early language acquisition and learning job-related skills make sense in two respects: they open up greater prospects for asylum seekers if they remain in Switzerland, but also if they return to their country of origin.

We show that migrants leave their country of origin for many different reasons. Nowhere in the literature did we find clear indications that offering integration measures such as language courses or qualification measures would have a discernible influence on the decision to migrate to a particular country. While policies more generally may play a role, such specific active integration policies do not seem to affect work migration, asylum migration, or family reunification.

The reseearch literture is clear that early and intensive promotion of integration leads to long-term cost savings for those people who remain in Switzerland. The economy benefits from domestic workers who, thanks to good preparation, gain a foothold in working life more quickly and can pay for themselves. In addition, successful professional integration and economic independence in Switzerland can also help migrants to become involved in development in their country of origin. The decision to return, however, seems to depend on various factors, and in the case of asylum migration depends primarily on the situation in the country of origin.

Ruedin, Didier, Denise Efionayi-Mäder, Sanda Üllen, Veronika Bilger, and Martin Hofmann. 2019. ‘Wirkungszusammenhänge Migration, Integration und Rückkehr’. Eine Literaturanalyse im Auftrag des SEM in Erfüllung des Postulats 16.3790 «Migration. Langfristige Folgen der Integration». Bern: Staatssekretariat für Migration (SEM).

Videos on Successful Immigrants

Research by my colleagues Rosita Fibbi, Robin Stünzi, Agota Sanislo, and Philipp Schnell on pathways to success is now available via video (in French and German). The research was supported by Fondation Mercator Suisse. The research shows immigrants overcoming their disadvantaged background to successfully integrate into work.