Social networks and immigrant integration

Is it possible to improve immigrants' social and economic situation by matching them with native Swedes? This projects seeks the answer to that question.

Immigrant integration is key to realizing the potential of international migration in economic development. However, integration is often thought to be hampered by immigrants' limited social networks betyond their co-ethnics. This will be one of the first field experiments to study how contact with natives affects immigrants' social and economic outcomes.

We have partnered with a non-governmental organization in Sweden that annually matches over one thousand pairs of native Swedes and immigrants - predominantly from developing countries - to promote new social connections and facilitate integration. Using a randomized controlled trial and a combination of survey and administrative register data, we will study how such matches affect immigrants' social relations and values, and whether they lead to better labor and housing market outcomes via access to information or referrals. We will also examine changes in immigrants' attachment to their country of origin and remittances to family and friends outside Sweden.



Principal Investigator

Olle Hammar P​hD, Economics 

Other project members


Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius stiftelse samt Tore Browaldhs stiftelse