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Immigrants Assimilate as Communities, Not Just as Individuals

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Author Info

  • Hatton, Timothy J.

    ()
    (University of Essex)

  • Leigh, Andrew

    ()
    (Australian National University)

Abstract

There is a large econometric literature that examines the economic assimilation of immigrants in the United States and elsewhere. On the whole immigrants are seen as atomistic individuals assimilating in a largely anonymous labour market, a view that runs counter to the spirit of the equally large literature on ethnic groups. Here we argue that immigrants assimilate as communities, not just as individuals. The longer the immigrant community has been established the better adjusted it is to the host society and the more the host society comes to accept that ethnic group. Thus economic outcomes for immigrants should depend not just on their own characteristics, but also on the legacy of past immigration from the same country. In this paper we test this hypothesis using data from a 5 percent sample of the 1980, 1990 and 2000 US censuses. We find that history matters in immigrant assimilation: the stronger is the tradition of immigration from a given source country, the better the economic outcomes for new immigrants from that source.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2538.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2011, 24 (2), 389-419
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2538

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Keywords: assimilation; US labor market; immigration;

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References

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  1. Åslund, Olof & Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter, 2001. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2729, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  18. Michèle V. K. Belot & Timothy J. Hatton, 2012. "Immigrant Selection in the OECD," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1105-1128, December.
  19. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kahanec, Martin, 2012. "Report No. 49: Skilled Labor Flows: Lessons from the European Union," IZA Research Reports 49, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Martin Kahanec, 2013. "Skilled Labor Flows: Lessons from the European Union," Research Reports 1, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
  4. Strom, Steinar & Venturini, Alessandra & Villosio, Claudia, 2013. "Wage Assimilation: Migrants versus Natives and Foreign Migrants versus Internal Migrants," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201341, University of Turin.
  5. André Martínez-Fritscher & Aldo Musacchio & Martina Viarengo, 2010. "The Great Leap Forward: The Political Economy Of Education In Brazil, 1889-1930," Working Papers 03-2010, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.
  6. Tim Hatton & Joseph P. Ferrie, 2014. "Two Centuries of International Migration," CEH Discussion Papers 23, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  7. Vaira-Lucero, Matias & Nahm, Daehoon & Tani, Massimiliano, 2012. "Socioeconomic Assimilation and Wealth Accumulation of Migrants in Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 6969, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Riccardo Faini & Steiner Strom & Alessandra Venturini & Claudia Villosio, 2009. "Are Foreign Migrants more Assimilated than Native Ones?," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 96, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  9. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Mathias G. Sinning, 2009. "Neighborhood Diversity and the Appreciation of Native- and Immigrant-Owned Homes," CEPR Discussion Papers 624, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  10. Kahanec, Martin & Tosun, Mehmet S., 2007. "Political Economy of Immigration in Germany: Attitudes and Citizenship Aspirations," IZA Discussion Papers 3140, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Richard M. Todd & Michael Grover, 2008. "Accounting for regional migration patterns and homeownership disparities in the Hmong-American refugee community, 1980-2000," Community Affairs Report 2008-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Foreman-Peck, James & Zhou, Peng, 2009. "The Strength and Persistence of Entrepreneurial Cultures," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2009/32, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section, revised Aug 2010.
  13. 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).
  14. Edgard Polanco, 2009. "Asimilación laboral de los inmigrantes colombianos en Estados Unidos," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
  15. Alessandra Venturini, 2012. "Methodological Aspects of Research on Flows Human Capital Flows: A survey," RSCAS Working Papers carim2012/01, European University Institute.
  16. Georgiadis, Andreas & Manning, Alan, 2013. "One nation under a groove? Understanding national identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 166-185.

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