The Role of the State in Influencing African Labour Outcomes in Spain and Portugal (Working Paper #3)
Cristóbal Mendoza, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte
Summary: The paper observes African labour outcomes in the light of different immigration policies of Portugal and Spain. The comparison between Portugal and Spain illustrates two ‘sensibilities’ to immigration. Thus the paper first examines recent trends in the immigration policies of Spain and Portugal. Here the circumstances in which a non-EU national is allowed to work legally are reviewed for both countries. Using interview responses from African workers, employers and key local informants in three Iberian regions (namely, Girona in northern Catalunya, Algarve in southern Portugal and the Península de Setúbal on the Lisbon outskirts), the paper secondly explores consequences of different immigration policies on the incorporation of African workers in two host labour markets. It concludes that the action of the state is a key element in explaining dissimilarities in African patterns of employment in Portugal and Spain.