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Culture Clash or Culture Club? The Identity and Attitudes of Immigrants in Britain

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  • Alan Manning
  • Sanchari Roy

Abstract

There is economic evidence that diversity has consequences for economic performance (see Alesina and La Ferrara, 2005). This might have consequences for immigration policy - how many immigrants to allow into a country and from what cultural background. But, central to such a discussion is the pace of cultural assimilation among immigrants - this under-researched topic is the focus of this paper. It investigates the extent and determinants of British identity among those living in Britain and the views on rights and responsibilities in societies. We find no evidence for a culture clash in general, and one connected with Muslims in particular. The vast majority of those born in Britain, of whatever ethnicity or religion, think of themselves as British and we find evidence that third-generation immigrants are more likely to think of themselves as British than second generation. Newly arrived immigrants almost never think of themselves as British but the longer they remain in the UK, the more likely it is that they do. This process of assimilation is faster for those from poorer and less democratic countries, even though immigrants from these countries are often regarded as a particular cause for concern. Our analysis of rights and responsibilities finds much smaller differences in views between the UK-born and immigrants than within the UK-born population.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0790.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0790

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: Immigration; Identity; Assimilation;

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  1. Card, David, 2001. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 22-64, January.
  2. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," NBER Working Papers 10904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot: Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," Papers 1999-10, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
  4. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," NBER Working Papers 11547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "The Political Economy of Hatred," NBER Working Papers 9171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," Working Papers 633, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo & Peri, Giovanni, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5226, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  11. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Duncan, Brian & Trejo, Stephen, 2008. "Intermarriage and the Intergenerational Transmission of Ethnic Identity and Human Capital for Mexican Americans," IZA Discussion Papers 3547, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Andreas Georgiadis & Alan Manning, 2011. "Change and continuity among minority communities in Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 541-568, April.
  3. Amelie Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2009. "Migration, Ethnicity and Economic Integration," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 957, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca & Preston, Ian, 2010. "Racial Harassment, Ethnic Concentration and Economic Conditions," IZA Discussion Papers 4885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Alberto Bisin & Eleonora Patacchini & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2008. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 445-456, 04-05.
  6. Nekby, Lena & Rödin, Magnus, 2010. "Acculturation identity and employment among second and middle generation immigrants," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 35-50, February.
  7. de la Rica, Sara & Ortega, Francesc, 2009. "Economic and Cultural Gaps among Foreign-born Minorities in Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 4115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Brian Duncan & Stephen Trejo, 2009. "Ancestry versus Ethnicity: The Complexity and Selectivity of Mexican Identification in the United States," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0901, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  9. Max Nathan, 2011. "The economics of super-diversity: findings from British cities, 2001-2006," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33578, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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