Ethnic Minority Health and Employment: Ethnic Differences in the Protective Effect of Close Social Ties.

J. Slootjes, S. Keuzenkamp, S. Saharso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


First- and second-generation Turkish and Moroccan migrants living in the Netherlands have a disproportionate incidence of health problems and relatively low employment rates. Health problems are an obstacle to employment, yet there is no one-to-one correspondence between health problems and capability to work. Social ties can reduce the negative impact of health problems on employment by providing social support and providing the comfort of feeling embedded in a close social circle. In this study, we examine whether the assumed negative impact of health problems on employment is reduced by the number of close social ties, the quantity of contact, and the proportion of co-ethnics among close social ties, and whether this protective effect varies across ethnic groups. Using survey data from the Netherlands Longitudinal Lifecourse Study (N = 3911), we find that close social ties reduce the negative impact of health problems on employment. However, this protective effect depends on both the aspect of social ties which is considered and ethnic background of the individual. Quantity of contact has a protective effect for native Dutch individuals; number of social ties and a higher proportion of co-ethnics had a protective effect for Moroccan individuals, and social ties have no protective effect for Turkish individuals.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)619-638
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of International Migration and integration
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2018

Cite this