M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 117
Administrative Assistance and the Labor Integration of Migrant Roma Informal Settlement Residents: Results from the MOUS Program in Grenoble
Honorable Mention, 2019 Dunlop Thesis Prize
Christina M. Qiu
In 2012, the city government of Grenoble commissioned an administrative assistance program that specialized in the labor integration of Roma informal settlement residents through partnerships with social workers. The objectives of this thesis are threefold. First, I differentiate an individual's characteristics of autonomy and employability. Modeling the procurement of beneficiary labor outcomes as an interaction of social worker targeting and beneficiary utilization decisions, I posit that under concave social worker payoffs, migrants with moderately below-median autonomy levels see the greatest increases in household income. Second, using original panel data of 714 observations across 167 individuals, I empirically assess the causal impact of program participation on the obtainment of employability-enhancing opportunities. I find that program participation increases participation in job-training and French language learning workshops. This effect is especially pronounced for below-median autonomy level beneficiaries who see large increases in permanent job contract obtainment relative to their above-median autonomy level counterparts. Third, I explore the long-term consequences of a selection process into an administrative assistance program that favors the "most integrable" migrants. By equipping such migrants with means to leave the informal settlement, conditions of poverty within the informal settlement may be exacerbated, yielding a suboptimal equilibrium.