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Gender, Ethnic Identity and Work

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  • Constant, Amelie
  • Gataullina, Liliya
  • Zimmermann, Klaus F

Abstract

The European Union’s strategy to raise employment is confronted with very low work participation among many minority ethnic groups, in particular among immigrants. This study examines the potential of immigrants’ identification with the home and host country ethnicity to explain that deficit. It introduces a two-dimensional understanding of ethnic identity, as a combination of commitments to the home and host cultures and societies, and links it to the labour market participation of immigrants. Using unique German survey data, the paper identifies marked gender differences in the effects of ethnic identification on the probability to work controlling for a number of other determinants. While ethnically assimilated immigrant men outperform those who are ethnically separated and marginalized, they are not different from those with openness to both cultures. Assimilated immigrant women do better than those separated and marginalized, but those who develop an attachment to both cultures clearly fare the best.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5983.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5983

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Keywords: acculturation; ethnic identity; ethnicity; gender; immigrant assimilation; immigrant integration; work;

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  1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2005. "Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans," NBER Working Papers 11512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  3. Gretchen Livingston, 2006. "Gender, Job Searching, and Employment Outcomes among Mexican Immigrants," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 43-66, 02.
  4. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
  5. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  6. LaLonde, Robert J & Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Immigrants in the American Labor Market: Quality, Assimilation, and Distributional Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 297-302, May.
  7. Büchel, Felix & Frick, Joachim R., 2000. "The Income Portfolio of Immigrants in Germany - Effects of Ethnic Origin and Assimilation Or: Who Gains from Income Re-Distribution?," IZA Discussion Papers 125, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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