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Measuring Ethnic Identity and Its Impact on Economic Behavior

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Author Info

  • Constant, Amelie F.

    ()
    (George Washington University, Temple University)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    ()
    (IZA and University of Bonn)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3063.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2008, 6 (2-3), 424-433
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3063

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Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
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Related research

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

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," Carlo Alberto Notebooks, Collegio Carlo Alberto 50, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. 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.
  4. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Ethnosizing immigrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 274-287, March.
  5. Nekby, Lena & Rödin, Magnus, 2007. "Acculturation Identity and Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2826, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Zimmermann, Laura & Gataullina, Liliya & Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2006. "Human Capital and Ethnic Self-Identification of Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 2300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. GianMarco Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US cities," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 91, Econometric Society.
  13. Harminder Battu & McDonald Mwale & Yves Zenou, 2007. "Oppositional identities and the labor market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 643-667, July.
  14. Chiswick, Carmel U., 2006. "The Economic Determinants of Ethnic Assimilation," IZA Discussion Papers 2212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. 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.
  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. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Mason, Patrick L., 2004. "Annual income, hourly wages, and identity Among Mexican Americans and other Latinos," MPRA Paper 11326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  25. 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.
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