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The Effects of Naturalization on Immigrants’ Employment Probability (France, 1968–1999)

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  • Fougère, Denis

    ()
    (CREST)

  • Safi, Mirna

    ()
    (CREST-INSEE)

Abstract

Naturalization is usually regarded as an important sign of civic and political integration amongst immigrants, but it can also be seen as a factor of their economic integration. The aim of this study is to analyze the naturalization phenomenon in France and examine its link with the immigrants’ labor force status. We use longitudinal data from the “Echantillon Démographique Permanent” (EDP) sample. The EDP is a panel dataset by which we can follow almost 1% of the French population from 1968 to 1999 through information contained in the 1968, 1975, 1982, 1990 and 1999 French census. The sample we use (N = 36,685) is limited to immigrants who declared themselves non-naturalized at the time they first appeared in the panel. This makes it possible for us to observe possible changes of nationality between two census dates and their potential consequences on the employment probability at the second date. In our study, the probability of naturalization between two census dates not only depends on observable individual characteristics of immigrants (country of birth, age, marital situation, occupation, human capital, etc.), but also on a number of contextual variables related to the role of the community in the assimilation process (size of the community and number of foreigners in the region of residence). We compare the differential rates of naturalization between the various ethnic groups and try to answer the following question: are there differences between the naturalized immigrant population and the immigrant population as a whole? In the second stage, we analyze the effect of naturalization on the individual employment probability by estimating a univariate probit model. To control for the potential endogeneity of the naturalization process, we also estimate a bivariate probit model. With both models, we find that naturalization has a significant positive effect on immigrants’ employability and that this effect is particularly high for groups of immigrants who have a low probability of employment in the host country.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3372.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2009, 30 (1-2), 83-96
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3372

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Keywords: immigration; naturalization; citizenship; employment;

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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
  2. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2007. "Naturalization Proclivities, Ethnicity and Integration," IZA Discussion Papers 3260, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Bevelander, Pieter & Veenman, Justus, 2006. "Naturalisation and Socioeconomic Integration: The Case of the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 2153, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Bernt Bratsberg & James F. Ragan & Zafar M. Nasir, 2002. "The Effect of Naturalization on Wage Growth: A Panel Study of Young Male Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 568-597, July.
  5. DeVoretz, Don J. & Pivnenko, Sergiy, 2004. "The Economic Causes and Consequences of Canadian Citizenship," IZA Discussion Papers 1395, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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