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Ethnic Concentration and Language Fluency of Immigrants in Germany

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  • Danzer, Alexander M.

    ()
    (University of Munich)

  • Yaman, Firat

    ()
    (City University London)

Abstract

Studies that investigate the effect of the regional ethnic composition on immigrant outcomes have been complicated by the self-selection of ethnic minorities into specific neighbourhoods. We analyse the impact of own-ethnic concentration on the language proficiency of immigrants by exploiting the fact that the initial placement of guest-workers after WWII was determined by labour demanding firms and the federal labour administration and hence exogenous to immigrant workers. Combining several data sets, we find a small but robust and significant negative effect of ethnic concentration on immigrants' language ability. Simulation results of a choice model in which location and learning decisions are taken simultaneously confirm the presence of the effect. Immigrants with high learning costs are inclined to move to ethnic enclaves, so that the share of German-speakers would increase only modestly even under the counterfactual scenario of a regionally equal distribution of immigrants across Germany.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4742.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4742

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Keywords: enclave; ethnic concentration; language proficiency; immigrants; Instrumental variable; random utility model;

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  1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2007. "When Are Ghettos Bad? Lessons from Immigrant Segregation in the United States," NBER Working Papers 13082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Barry R. Chiswick & Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigrant Earnings: Language Skills, Linguistic Concentrations and the Business Cycle," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State 152, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
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  6. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Ã…slund, Olof, 2000. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Paper Series, Uppsala University, Department of Economics 2000:21, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  7. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2, Spring.
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  13. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Casey Warman, 2006. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Earnings Growth," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 1261, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  15. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2003. "Language proficiency and labour market performance of immigrants in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 695-717, 07.
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Cited by:
  1. Schlitte, Friso, 2010. "Local human capital, segregation by skill, and skill-specific employment growth," IAB Discussion Paper 201022, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  2. Isphording, Ingo E. & Otten, Sebastian, 2014. "Linguistic Barriers in the Destination Language Acquisition of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 8090, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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).
  4. Jens Ruhose, 2013. "Bildungsleistungen von Migranten und deren Determinanten – Teil II: Primar-, Sekundar- und Tertiärbereich," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(10), pages 24-38, 05.
  5. Dürnberger, Andrea & Drasch, Katrin & Matthes, Britta, 2010. "Kontextgestützte Abfrage in Retrospektiverhebungen: Ein kognitiver Pretest zu Erinnerungsprozessen bei Weiterbildungsereignissen," IAB Discussion Paper 201020, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  6. Achatz, Juliane & Trappmann, Mark, 2011. "Arbeitsmarktvermittelte Abgänge aus der Grundsicherung : der Einfluss von personen- und haushaltsgebundenen Barrieren," IAB Discussion Paper 201102, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

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