Research project of the Czech Science Foundation led by doc. Berggren was rated “excellent”

Doc. Niclas Berggren, Art.D., Ph.D. was the principal investigator of a basic research project funded by the Czech Science Foundation at the Faculty of Economics from 2019 to 2021. The project No. 19-03102S was entitled The Basis for Successful Integration – Evidence from the Economics of Culture“.

The Faculty of Economics was officially informed by the President of the Czech Science Foundation on 3 July 2023 that the Board of the Foundation by its decision confirmed the evaluation of the project (proposed by the expert and advisory bodies) with the grade “excellent”. In particular, they appreciated the achievement of exceptional results, which meet the high requirements of scientific and research activities and contribute to the expansion of the current state of knowledge and significantly influence the development of the relevant field, not only in the Czech environment, but also in the international context. At the same time, an opportunity was offered to publish a popularisation article about the awarded project and its contributions on the website of the Czech Science Foundation.

The contribution of the project is that the factors influencing the social integration of people with a migration background have been clarified. The research results are also relevant for other social science disciplines. In terms of outputs, the project exceeded expectations, as the small research team published 10 articles in reputable journals and a chapter in an academic book published by Springer.

The focus of the project was related to the fact that the Czech Republic and Europe face integration challenges, not least that many immigrants have a hard time entering the labor market. The thesis of this project was that cultural factors are important for integration. If people with an immigrant background have values and attitudes that harmonize with those of people in the new country, integration will be facilitated; and if the native population is tolerant and trusting, it will be easier for immigrants to enter society. Against this background it is important to understand how attitudes and values are determined. This project therefore investigated what shapes different types of attitudes and values (e.g., trust, tolerance, individualism, life satisfaction and satisfaction with democracy). Among the findings were that immigrants in Europe are more tolerant if their background countries have public institutions are effective and fair, if people there value teaching children tolerance and if the share of religious Muslims is lower. Where data allowed, the focus was on immigrants in Europe, which enables studies of links between the culture of the countries of origin and immigrants’ attitudes, values and behavior. Precisely thanks to the use of the epidemiological method, more reliable causal connections can be determined.

More information about the project and its publications can be found on this website: