We compare the long-run labour market integration of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) refugees who arrived in the 1990s to the Scandinavian countries in the settings of Sweden and Denmark, respectively. These otherwise similar countries faced different economic conditions at the time of arrival and over the observation period. They also differed in terms of the restrictiveness of asylum policies and in attitudes towards immigration. Using register data from Statistics Sweden and Statistics Denmark, we show that FRY refugees, in both child and adult generations at arrival, are better integrated 12–15 years later in Sweden than in Denmark, even though Sweden experienced a higher level of unemployment than Denmark throughout the period. Our findings suggest that asylum policies promoting early labour market entry and early exposure to a host country’s schooling system, as well as access to disability pension and social assistance, are important factors affecting refugee labour market integration.