The Social Assimilation of Immigrants
AbstractPolicy makers in migrant-receiving countries must often strike a delicate balance between economic needs, that would dictate a substantial increase in the number of foreign workers, and political and electoral imperatives, that typically result in highly restrictive immigration policies. Promoting integration of migrants into the host country would go a long way in alleviating the trade off between economic and political considerations. While there is a large literature on the economic assimilation of immigrants, somewhat less attention has been devoted to other - and equally crucial - dimensions of migrants’ integration, namely the process of social assimilation. The aim of this paper is to take a close look at migrants social integration into the host country. We rely on the European Community Household panel (ECHP), which devotes a full module to the role and relevance of social relations for both migrants and natives. An innovative feature of this analysis is that it relies on migrants perceptions about their integration rather than - as is typically the case in most opinion surveys - on natives attitudes toward migrants. The main results of the paper can be summarized as follows. First, migrants - particularly from non EU origins - are at a disadvantage in the fields of social relations. Even after controlling for their individual characteristics, such as age, education, family size, and employment status, they tend to socialize less than natives. Second, migrants tend to converge, albeit quite slowly, to the standard of natives. This finding highlights the risks of short term migration, where migrants tend to be constantly marginalized. Third, education has a significant impact on the type of social activities that individuals undertake. More educated people tend to relate somewhat less with their close neighbourhood, but quite intensively with the broader community. The implication for policy makers concerned about the creation of ethnic enclaves is to promote education among immigrants’ community.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5992.
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
Other versions of this item:
- de Palo, Domenico & Faini, Riccardo & Venturini, Alessandra, 2007. "The social assimilation of immigrants," Social Protection Discussion Papers 38578, The World Bank.
- Domenico de Palo & Riccardo Faini & Alessandra Venturini, 2007. "The Social Assimilation of Immigrants," Development Working Papers 225, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
- de Palo, Domenico & Faini, Riccardo & Venturini, Alessandra, 2006. "The Social Assimilation of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 2439, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Steven N. Durlauf & Marcel Fafchamps, 2004.
CSAE Working Paper Series
2004-14, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Durlauf,S.N. & Fafchamps,M., 2004. "Social capital," Working papers 12, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Steven N. Durlauf & Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 10485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steven Durlauf & Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Social Capital," Development and Comp Systems 0409060, EconWPA.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Steven N. Durlauf, 2004. "Social Capital," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Gilbert,Christopher L. & Vines,David (ed.), 2006. "The World Bank," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521029018, November.
- 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.
- Anna Maria Mayda, 2004.
"Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants,"
Development Working Papers
187, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
- Anna Maria Mayda, 2006. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 510-530, August.
- Mayda, Anna Maria, 2004. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University), 2005. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-10, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- George J. Borjas, 1988.
"Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants,"
NBER Working Papers
2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Durlauf,S.N., 2001.
"On the empirics of social capital,"
3, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Miriam Henseler & Joachim Plesch, 2009. "How Can Scholarship Institutions Foster the Return of Foreign Students?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 229(4), pages 382-409, August.
- Aleksynska, Mariya, 2007. "Civic Participation of Immigrants: Culture Transmission and Assimilation," MPRA Paper 4594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Boakye, Said, 2012. "Theory of social transformation, political transition and economic growth," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 411-425.
- Barbara Dietz, 2007. "Migration policy challenges at the new Eastern borders of the enlarged European Union : The Ukrainian case," Working Papers 267, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
- Harry P. Bowen & Jennifer Pedussel Wu, 2011.
"Immigrant Specificity and the Relationship between Trade and Immigration: Theory and Evidence,"
Discussion Paper Series
2011-01, McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte, revised 13 Jul 2012.
- Bowen, Harry P. & Pédussel Wu, Jennifer, 2012. "Immigrant specificity and the relationship between trade and immigration: Theory and evidence," Working Papers 70, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB), Berlin School of Economics and Law.
- Aleksynska, Mariya, 2011. "Civic participation of immigrants in Europe: Assimilation, origin, and destination country effects," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 566-585, September.
- Aleksynska, Mariya & Algan, Yann, 2010. "Assimilation and Integration of Immigrants in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 5185, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Cameron, Lisa A. & Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata & Zhang, Marina, 2012. "Cultural Integration: Experimental Evidence of Changes in Immigrants' Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 6467, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Mariya Aleksynska & Yann Algan, 2010. "Economic and Cultural Assimilation and Integration of Immigration in Europe," Working Papers 2010-29, CEPII research center.
- Caroline Berchet & Nicolas Sirven, 2012. "Cross-Country Performance in Social Integration of Older Migrants. A European Perspective," Working Papers DT46, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Mar 2012.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.