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Intermarriage, language, and economic assimilation process: A case study of France

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Author Info

  • Xin Meng
  • Dominique Meurs

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to study the role of intermarriage in the process of immigrant economic assimilation in France. Design/methodology/approach – The authors estimate an earnings equation for immigrants in France to examine the extent to which intermarried immigrants are better assimilated in the labor market – as measured by earnings – than their non-intermarried counterparts. To handle the possible endogeneity problem of intermarriage, two novel instruments are used: the “sex ratio” for each region-ethnicity cell, and “probability of marrying within one's own ethnic group”. Findings – It wass found that immigrants who are intermarried earn around 17 per cent more than immigrants who are endogamously married. After taking into account individual characteristics and endogeneity of intermarriage, the premium is around 25 to 35 per cent. In addition, the intermarriage premium is substantially higher for individuals who have a better grasp of the French language before migration than for those whose language skill is poor. This result seems to suggest that, perhaps, immigrants who have a strong base in the native language can gain greater benefit from intermarriage. Originality/value – The paper is the first to investigate this important aspect of immigrants' assimilation process in the French labor market.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1/2 (May)
Pages: 127-144

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:30:y:2009:i:1/2:p:127-144

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Related research

Keywords: France; Government policy; Immigration; Language; Mixed marriages; National cultures;

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References

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  1. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  2. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage And Labor Markets? Evidence From America'S Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038, August.
  3. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christian Dustmann & Arthur Van Soest, 2002. "Language and the earnings of immigrants," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(3), pages 473-492, April.
  5. Constant, Amelie F., 2003. "Immigrant Adjustment in France and Impacts on the Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 866, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-88, April.
  7. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 156, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Eric Maurin, 1991. "Les étrangers : une main-d'oeuvre à part ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 242(1), pages 39-50.
  9. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  10. repec:iza:izadps:dp1142 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Bell, Brian D, 1997. "The Performance of Immigrants in the United Kingdom: Evidence from the GHS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 333-44, March.
  12. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
  13. A. Dupray & Stéphanie Moullet, 2004. "Quelles discriminations à l'encontre des jeunes d'origine maghrébine à l'entrée du marché du travail en France?," Brussels Economic Review, in: Lahcen Achy (ed.), Marché du travail et genre: Maghreb-Europe ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
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