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Dual Citizenship Rights: Do They Make More and Better Citizens?

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  • Mazzolari, Francesca

    ()
    (Centro Studi Confindustria)

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    Abstract

    In the 1990s, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Brazil passed dual citizenship laws granting their expatriates the right to naturalize in the receiving country without losing their nationality of origin. I estimate the effects of these new laws on naturalization rates and labor market outcomes in the United States. Based on data from the 1990 and 2000 U.S. censuses, I find that immigrants recently granted dual nationality rights are more likely to naturalize. They also experience employment and earnings gains, together with drops in welfare use, suggesting that dual citizenship rights not only increase the propensity to naturalize but may also promote economic assimilation. The effects of dual citizenship on improved economic performance, if mediated through naturalization, are consistent with American citizenship conferring greater economic opportunities.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3008.

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    Length: 33 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2007
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in: Demography, 46 (1), 2009, 169-191
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3008

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    Keywords: naturalization; dual citizenship; immigrants; assimilation;

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    1. Lofstrom, Magnus, 1999. "Labor Market Assimilation and the Self-Employment Decision of Immigrant Entrepreneurs," IZA Discussion Papers 54, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Neeraj Kaushal, 2006. "Amnesty Programs and the Labor Market Outcomes of Undocumented Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
    3. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-76, February.
    4. George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1991. "Immigrant Participation in the Welfare System," NBER Working Papers 3423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Kossoudji, S.A. & Cobb-Clark, D.A., 1996. "Coming Out of the Shadows: Learning About Legal Status and Wages from the Legalized Population," CEPR Discussion Papers 347, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:
    1. Max Friedrich Steinhardt, 2008. "Does citizenship matter? The economic impact of naturalizations in Germany," Development Working Papers 266, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.

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