In conversation with our young researchers: Julio Garbers

23 May 2023

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Immigration and integration policies

Integration, which encompasses economic, political, and social aspects, is crucial to prevent the marginalisation of immigrant populations and ensure they can access opportunities in their host countries. Failure to integrate immigrants imposes severe challenges for host countries ranging from fiscal costs to ghettoisation and even social tensions.

To what extent is the economic and social integration of immigrants vital for their well-being and for the maintenance of social cohesion in destination countries?

Julio Garbers is a PhD candidate in Economics at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and the University of Luxembourg. As part of the Doctoral Training Unit ACROSS, Julio analyses immigration and integration policies.

Inclusion, not exclusion: why welcoming newcomers is good for everyone

The foreign-born population has grown considerably in many OECD countries due to factors such as demographic aging, labour scarcity in host nations, population expansion, and adverse circumstances in some countries of origin. As a result, the increasing diversity has pushed immigrant integration to the forefront of political discourse.

Notable gaps between immigrants and native citizens in labour market outcomes also raise concerns about the sustainability of welfare and pension systems. Therefore, both the economic and social integration of immigrants are vital not only for their well-being but also for maintaining social cohesion in the destination countries. Integration policies can serve as tools for destination countries to expedite this process.

As part of the Doctoral Team Unit ACROSS (Analysis of CROSS-border human mobility) at LISER, Julio examines the development and assessment of immigration and integration policies

Evaluating the effectiveness and coherence of various integration policies is essential to determine which strategies are most successful in promoting immigrant integration. More specifically, in one of my studies, I analyse the potential of a more liberal citizenship policy as an integration tool.

Julio Garbers

A member of the ACROSS Doctoral Training Unit

ACROSS aims to develop tools to monitor, analyse and improve the understanding of the causes and consequences of these flows – a prerequisite for relevant advice to policy-makers.

With financial support of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR’s PRIDE funding scheme), ACROSS gathers economists and geographers from LISER, from the Department of Economics and Finance of the University of Luxembourg, and from the Research Division of STATEC (the National Institute of statistics and economic studies). The three partner institutions aim to create a team of excellence on cross-border mobility, a team where migration and labor market scholars can interact together with data providers, and where new generations of PhD students can benefit from synergies between institutions.

One of the remarkable aspects of ACROSS is its inherent interdisciplinary approach, which fosters collaboration among economists, geographers, and sociologists. They work together to analyse a problem from multiple perspectives and the organization encourages teamwork between junior and senior researchers, facilitating a robust exchange of ideas and knowledge.

Julio Garbers

Research Luxembourg: driving innovation and collaboration

The German researcher, who spent his childhood in Brazil, started his studies with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Heidelberg. Upon completing his undergraduate studies in Heidelberg, he chose to continue his education by enrolling in a Master’s programme at the same institution. Throughout his Master’s studies, he gained valuable experience working as a research assistant at the Chair of New Political Economy.

Luxembourg’s research institutions have strong connections with other research centres and universities across Europe and the world. These international collaborations provide researchers with access to additional resources, knowledge, and expertise.

Julio Garbers

Julio chose Luxembourg as a research destination because the migration research team at LISER comprises internationally renowned scholars. A key factor in his decision to choose Luxembourg for his PhD studies was the presence of his supervisor, Christina Gathmann, who has played a central role in his academic journey. To him the Luxembourgish government and the National Research Fund (FNR) both place a strong emphasis on research and innovation, offering various funding opportunities for researchers.

Luxembourg is home to several renowned research institutions, such as the Luxembourg Institute for Socio-Economic Research (LISER), the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), and the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH). These institutions provide high-quality research facilities and cutting-edge equipment to support a wide range of research activities.

Julio Garbers

The many faces of Luxembourg: discovering the world in one country

One of the most striking aspects of Luxembourg’s multiculturalism is the way in which different cultures have come together to create a unique and harmonious blend. This is reflected in the country’s architecture, cuisine, and traditions, which draw on a variety of different cultural influences.

Living in Luxembourg, Julio says he appreciates how well connected the country is to Europe and in particular to its neighbouring countries, that public transport is free and that the environment is very international.

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