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Measuring Ethnic Identity and Its Impact on Economic Behavior

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  • Amelie Constant
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann

Abstract

The paper advocates for a new measure of the ethnic identity of migrants, models its determinants and explores its explanatory power for various types of their economic performance. The ethnosizer, a measure of the intensity of a person's ethnic identity, is constructed from information on the following elements: language, culture, societal interaction, history of migration, and ethnic self-identification. A two-dimensional concept of the ethnosizer classifies migrants into four states: integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization. The ethnosizer largely depends on pre-migration characteristics. Empirical evidence studying economic behavior like work participation, earnings and housing decisions demonstrates the significant relevance of ethnic identity for economic outcomes.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.63394.de/diw_sp0047.pdf
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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 47.

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Length: 23 p.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp47

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Keywords: Ethnicity; ethnic identity; acculturation; migrant assimilation; migrant integration; work; cultural economics;

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References

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  1. Kuran, Timur, 1998. "Ethnic Norms and Their Transformation through Reputational Cascades," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 623-59, June.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  3. Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F & Zimmermann, Laura, 2007. "Ethnic Self-Identification of First-Generation Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6086, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," IZA Discussion Papers 3006, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Constant, Amelie & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2006. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. David Austen-Smith & Ronald G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of 'Acting White'," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 1399, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2004.34, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "'Bend It Like Beckham': Identity, Socialization and Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Zimmermann, Laura & Gataullina, Liliya & Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "Human capital and ethnic self-identification of immigrants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 235-239, March.
  11. Constant, Amelie & Roberts, Rowan & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2007. "Ethnic Identity and Immigrant Homeownership," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6490, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Constant, Amelie & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F & Zimmermann, Laura, 2006. "Clash of Cultures: Muslims and Christians in the Ethnosizing Process," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5910, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Nekby, Lena & Rödin, Magnus, 2007. "Acculturation Identity and Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2826, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," IZA Discussion Papers 2583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of "Acting White"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 551-583, May.
  16. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2007. "Migrant Ethnic Identity: Concept And Policy Implications," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, Summer.
  17. Carmel Chiswick, 2009. "The economic determinants of ethnic assimilation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 859-880, October.
  18. Mason, Patrick L., 2004. "Annual income, hourly wages, and identity Among Mexican Americans and other Latinos," MPRA Paper 11326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
  20. Battu, Harminder & Mwale, MacDonald & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Oppositional Identities and the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5351, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Amelie Constant & Liliya Gataullina & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2006. "Gender, Ethnic Identity and Work," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 643, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  22. Oriol Aspachs-Bracons & Irma Clots-Figueras & Joan Costa-Font & Paolo Masella, 2008. "Compulsory Language Educational Policies and Identity Formation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 434-444, 04-05.
  23. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis & Melissa Osborne, 2001. "Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior and Earnings," Working Papers, Santa Fe Institute 01-01-004, Santa Fe Institute.
  24. Fearon, James D. & Laitin, David D., 2000. "Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(04), pages 845-877, September.
  25. Darity, William Jr. & Mason, Patrick L. & Stewart, James B., 2006. "The economics of identity: The origin and persistence of racial identity norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 283-305, July.
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