Policy Session "Migrants in the Swiss Economy"

Date:1 September 2017, 16:45 – 18:30
Location:Bern University of Applied Sciences, Business Division, Brückenstrasse 73, 3005 Bern  Website
Closing Apero:18:30

The Bern University of Applied Sciences is organizing a conference which brings together high level academic researchers and influential policy makers to address the challenges posed by labor market discrimination. Distinguished academics will present their latest findings on different instances of discrimination (gender-, fertility-, ethnically-based or other types of labor market discrimination). Those findings will then be addressed in a policy session, whereby policy makers and other individuals with the ability to influence the implementation of actual policies will discuss concrete ways to eradicate discrimination.


Moderator of the Policy Session

Reinhard Riedl

Chief Science Officer, Business School, Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH)
Head of Transdisciplinary BFH-Center "Digital Society"

Short bio:

Reinhard Riedl studied Engineering Mathematics at Johannes Kepler University, Linz, and obtained a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of Zurich in 1994.

Professional experience:

Reinhard Riedl has carried out research in mathematics, computer science, economics, and law. His focus is on transdisciplinary topics related to ICT applications, emerging socio-technological ecosystems, teamwork with boundary objects, the digital transformation of disciplines and business sectors, and strategic leadership challenges. Since 2000 he is further dealing with the question how the smart state of the future could look like. He is president of the International Society for Contemporary Music in Bern, co-founder and vice-president of the E-Government Symposium Switzerland, co-founder and member of the board of Luchsinger Mathematics AG (www.all-acad.com), vice-president of the Swiss Informatics Society and member of the steering committee of the Swiss National Research Program on Big Data.


Introductory Remarks

Sascha O. Becker

Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick, England

Short bio:

Previously, he held positions at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich and at the University of Stirling, Scotland.

Professional Experience:

He studied Economics at the Universities of Bonn, Germany, and at the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Economique (ENSAE) in Paris, France. He obtained his Ph.D. at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence in 2001. In Spring 2000, he was a visiting scholar at the Center for Labor Economics at the University of California in Berkeley (UCB). In 2006, he spent 7 months at the University of California in San Diego (UCSD). During 2014/15 is a Visiting Professor at UCLA Anderson School of Management. His research has appeared in international journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the American Economic Review.


Cornelia Lüthy

Vice Director State Secretariat for Migration SEM
Head of Immigration and Integration Directorate

Short bio:

Ms. Lüthy obtained her doctorate in Law from the University of Zürich in 1998. She further completed an Executive Master of Public Administration in 2015, at the London School of Economics.

Professional experience:

Ms. Lüthy worked at the Institute of International Public Law and Foreign Constitutional Law of the University of Zürich. She also practiced law and worked at the Federal Office of Justice. In 2003 she joined the Education Department of the Canton of Zurich, where she was the deputy secretary general for the period 2003-2016. She has been Vice Director at the State Secretariat for Migration SEM since March 2016 and leads the Immigration and Integration Division. That division handles entry, stay, access to the labor market and integration of foreigners, in addition to implementing the legislation on nationality.


Patrik Schellenbauer

Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Avenir Suisse

Short bio:

Mr. Schellenbauer studied Economic at the University of Zurich (1991), with a dissertation at the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (Prof Heidi Schelbert) on the topic of “Monetary valuation of unpaid household work”(1996).

Professional experience:

Member of the investment commission of the Zürcher Kantonalbank pension fund and chair of the real estate committee (since 2006), lecturer in real estate and urban economics at ETH Zurich (DARCH) (since 2005). Head of the financial engineering economics unit at Zürcher Kantonalbank (2002- 2008), work in economics and risk controlling at Zürcher Kantonalbank (1998 – 2001). Senior assistant at the Institute of Economic Research at ETH Zurich (1997), research assistant at the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich (1991 – 1996). Mr. Schellenbaumer’s areas of focus at Avenir Suisse have been education, the housing market, the middle classes and distribution, and the employment market.


Maria Iannino Gerber

Executive Member of the Communal Council, Wohlen b. Bern

Short Bio:

Mrs. Iannino was born in 1965 in Berne. She studied Informatics Engineering FH and Business Administration for Engineers. She was a member of the Cantonal Parliament from June 2006 until June 2017 and is a Member of the Executive Council in her residential community since 2014.

Professional Experience:

Mrs. Iannino’s parents had migrated from Southern Italy and the North of Spain to Switzerland.  As a child she and her family experienced themselves what it meant to be a migrant family (so called "Tschingg") with not much appreciation from everyday society.  Mrs Iannino is a Swiss citizen since 2000, and since then she has been politically active in the Canton of Berne. With her husband, Mrs. Iannino founded a company in carpentry in 2002 (Amarena AG), which is a leader for producing furniture and kitchens with the FSC-label. From the beginning, the company exercised its social responsibility in educating professionals by offering a position as a carpenter apprentice. The company also offers regularly traineeship for Swiss and Migrants workers.

Mrs. Iannino works also independently in different fields of non-profit and non-governmental organizations as project leader, providing counseling and Business Administration support.


Simon Wey

Labor Market economist and deputy head of the department of labor markets and labor law, Schweizerischer Arbeitgeberverband

Short bio:

Mr. Wey holds a PhD in Management and Economics from the University of Zurich and a BA in Computer Science from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Northwestern Switzerland. During his doctoral studies he undertook research in the field of Public Economics and spent a year as a Visiting Research Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. There, he conducted research in the field of Law and Economics and Public Economics. In his professional career he spent several years at the Swiss Competition Commission, where he investigated particularly infrastructure markets. After gaining experience in the largest telecommunications firm in Switzerland, he joined the Swiss Employer Association in 2016 (Schweizerischer Arbeitgeberverband). In this position, he analyzes labour markets and prepares policy recommendations that contribute to sound economic conditions for companies in Switzerland. His scientific work has been published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization and in the Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade.

Professional experience:

In his recent position he conducts research in the field of labor markets and supports politicians with guidance regarding labor market related issues. He is also a member of the Federal Coordination Commission for Occupational Safety FCOS, where he represents the employers' point of view.


Zoltan Doka

Head Migration Department, Swiss Trade Union Unia

Short bio:

Zoltan Doka, born in 1961 to a Swiss-Hungarian family. started his professional career as a draftsman in the construction industry. In 1990, he made a career change into international cooperation and worked for 27 years in development cooperation programs in Europe, Africa and Asia, with a specific focus on labor rights, labor migration and the labor market. In parallel, he was engaged in humanitarian aid programs in the Balkans, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Lebanon. He heads the migration department in Unia, a multi-sectoral trade union in Switzerland, since 2017.