Bram Lancee

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Amsterdam


Immigrant Performance in the Labour Market
– Bonding and Bridging Social Capital

Author: Bram Lancee

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To what extent can different forms of social capital help immigrants make headway on the labour market? An answer to this pressing question begins here.

Taking the Netherlands and Germany as case studies, the book identifies two forms of social capital that may work to increase employment, income and occupational status and, conversely, decrease unemployment.

New insights into the concepts of bonding and bridging arise through quantitative research methods, using longitudinal and cross-sectional data. Referring to a dense network with ‘thick’ trust, bonding is measured as family ties, co-ethnic ties and trust in the family.

Bridging is seen in terms of inter-ethnic ties, thus implying a crosscutting network with ‘thin’ trust. Immigrant Performance in the Labour Market reveals that although bonding allows immigrants to get by, bridging enables them to get ahead.

The concept of social capital is of increasing importance in contemporary migration research. In this book, Lancee provides an excellent analysis of the role of social networks in the labour market integration of ethnic minorities. A valuable contribution to the theoretical and methodological debate.Anthony Heath, University of Oxford, UK

This outstanding study provides a comprehensive theoretical account on social resources for immigrants’ labour market success, testing it with up-to-date research methods and comparative data. Essential reading for everyone interested in ethnic and migration studies.Irena Kogan, University of Mannheim, Germany

This book can serve as reference for any heuristic application of the analytical tools it thoughtfully utilises. I congratulate Lancee’s efforts to optimise survey representativeness, contend with difficulties arising from cross-sectional data and find plausible methodological solutions.Venelin Boshnakov, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria


Lancee, B. (2012). Immigrant Performance in the Labour Market: Bonding and Bridging Social Capital. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.