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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. 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.
  2. Borjas, George J., 1998. "To Ghetto or Not to Ghetto: Ethnicity and Residential Segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 228-253, September.
  3. Anna Piil Damm, 2009. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 281-314, 04.
  4. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 2002. "Do Enclaves Matter in Immigrant Adjustment?," IZA Discussion Papers 449, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 133-56.
  6. Cutler, David M & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-72, August.
  7. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 156, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387.
  9. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities," NBER Working Papers 4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Per-Anders Edin & Peter Fredriksson & Olof �slund, 2003. "Ethnic Enclaves And The Economic Success Of Immigrants - Evidence From A Natural Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 329-357, February.
  11. 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.
  12. Dustmann, Christian & van Soest, Arthur, 1998. "Language and the Earnings of Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 2002. "Immigrant earnings: Language skills, linguistic concentrations and the business cycle," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 31-57.
  15. Ira N. Gang & Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein, 2002. "Enclaves, Language and the Location Choice of Migrants," Departmental Working Papers, Rutgers University, Department of Economics 200217, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  16. Dustmann, C. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 1998. "Language Fluency and Earnings: Estimation with Misclassified Language Indicators," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 1998-120, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  17. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-88, April.
  18. Casey Warman, 2006. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Earnings Growth," Working Papers, Queen's University, Department of Economics 1261, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  19. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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].
  2. Schlitte, Friso, 2010. "Local human capital, segregation by skill, and skill-specific employment growth," HWWI Research Papers 1-32, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  3. 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).
  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. 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].
  6. 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).

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