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Ethnic Concentration and Language Fluency of Immigrants in Germany

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  • Alexander M. Danzer
  • Firat Yaman

Abstract

Studies that investigate the effect of the regional ethnic composition on immigrant outcomes have been complicated by the self-selection of ethnic minorities into specific neighbourhoods. We analyse the impact of own-ethnic concentration on the language proficiency of immigrants by exploiting the fact that the initial placement of guest-workers after WWII was determined by labour demanding firms and the federal labour administration and hence exogenous to immigrant workers. Combining several data sets, we find a small but robust and significant negative effect of ethnic concentration on immigrants' language ability. Simulation results of a choice model in which location and learning decisions are taken simultaneously confirm the presence of the effect. Immigrants with high learning costs are inclined to move to ethnic enclaves, so that the share of German-speakers would increase only modestly even under the counterfactual scenario of a regionally equal distribution of immigrants across Germany.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 277.

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Length: 51 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp277

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Keywords: enclave; ethnic concentration; language proficiency; immigrants; Instrumental variable; random utility model;

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References

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  1. Thomas Bauer & Gil Epstein & Ira Gang, 2005. "Enclaves, language, and the location choice of migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 649-662, November.
  2. Dustmann, Christian & van Soest, Arthur, 1998. "Language and the Earnings of Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 2012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2, Spring.
  4. Cutler, David M. & Glaeser, Edward L. & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2008. "When are ghettos bad? Lessons from immigrant segregation in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 759-774, May.
  5. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," NBER Working Papers 5163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Borjas, George J., 1998. "To Ghetto or Not to Ghetto: Ethnicity and Residential Segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 228-253, September.
  7. Anna Piil Damm, 2009. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 281-314, 04.
  8. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Ethnic enclaves and the economic success of immigrants - evidence from a natural experiment," Working Paper Series 2000:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  9. 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.
  10. Dustmann, C. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 1998. "Language Fluency and Earnings: Estimation with Misclassified Language Indicators," Discussion Paper 1998-120, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 133-56.
  12. Casey Warman, 2006. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Earnings Growth," Working Papers 1261, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  13. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities," NBER Working Papers 4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2004. "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from Childhood Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 481-496, May.
  15. 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).
  16. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigrant Earnings: Language Skills, Linguistic Concentrations and the Business Cycle," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 152, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  17. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
  18. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Do Enclaves Matter in Immigrant Adjustment?," IZA Discussion Papers 449, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Schlitte, Friso, 2010. "Local human capital, segregation by skill, and skill-specific employment growth," IAB Discussion Paper 201022, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  2. Constant, Amelie F. & Schüller, Simone & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2013. "Ethnic Spatial Dispersion and Immigrant Identity," IZA Discussion Papers 7868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jens Ruhose, 2013. "Bildungsleistungen von Migranten und deren Determinanten – Teil II: Primar-, Sekundar- und Tertiärbereich," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(10), pages 24-38, 05.
  4. Achatz, Juliane & Trappmann, Mark, 2011. "Arbeitsmarktvermittelte Abgänge aus der Grundsicherung : der Einfluss von personen- und haushaltsgebundenen Barrieren," IAB Discussion Paper 201102, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  5. Isphording, Ingo E. & Otten, Sebastian, 2014. "Linguistic Barriers in the Destination Language Acquisition of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 8090, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Dürnberger, Andrea & Drasch, Katrin & Matthes, Britta, 2010. "Kontextgestützte Abfrage in Retrospektiverhebungen: Ein kognitiver Pretest zu Erinnerungsprozessen bei Weiterbildungsereignissen," IAB Discussion Paper 201020, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

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