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Ethnic Spatial Dispersion and Immigrant Identity

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Author Info

  • Constant, Amelie F.

    ()
    (George Washington University, Temple University)

  • Schüller, Simone

    ()
    (IRVAPP)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    ()
    (IZA and University of Bonn)

Abstract

Ethnic groups tend to agglomerate and assemble, mostly in urban areas. While ethnic clustering is critically debated in societies and the consequences for economic outcomes are under debate in research, the process is not yet well understood. A separate literature has also examined the cultural and ethnic identity of immigrants and how these affect their economic performance and societal integration. However, an unexplored channel connects ethnic clustering with ethnic identity formation. Therefore this paper examines the role of ethnic geographic clustering in the sociocultural integration of immigrants. It employs survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, combined with disaggregated information at a low geographical level from the unexploited German full census of 1970 and 1987. We employ the exogenous placement of immigrants during their recruitment in the 1960s and 1970s and find that local co-ethnic concentration affects immigrants' cultural integration. Residential ethnic clustering strengthens immigrants' retention of an affiliation with their respective country of origin and weakens identification with the host society. The effects are nonlinear and only become significant at relatively high levels of co-ethnic concentration for the minority identity and at very low levels of local concentration for the majority identity. Our findings are robust to the use of an instrumental variable approach.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7868.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7868

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Keywords: ethnic minorities; residential segregation; ethnic identity; spatial dispersion; ethnic enclaves;

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References

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  1. Hatton, Timothy J. & Leigh, Andrew, 2007. "Immigrants Assimilate as Communities, Not Just as Individuals," IZA Discussion Papers 2538, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Danzer, A. M. & Yaman, F., 2011. "Ethnic concentration and language fluency of immigrants in Germany," Working Papers, Department of Economics, City University London 11/09, Department of Economics, City University London.
  3. Constant, Amelie & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2006. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Alexander M. Danzer & Firat Yaman, 2013. "Do Ethnic Enclaves Impede Immigrants' Integration? Evidence from a Quasi-experimental Social-interaction Approach," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 311-325, 05.
  5. Damm, Anna Piil, 2006. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labour Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Working Papers, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics 06-4, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  6. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Åslund, 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. Akay, Alpaslan & Constant, Amelie & Giulietti, Corrado, 2014. "The impact of immigration on the well-being of natives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 72-92.
  8. Vigdor, Jacob & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2008. "When Are Ghettos Bad? Lessons from Immigrant Segregation In the United States," Scholarly Articles 2666726, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Network Effects And Welfare Cultures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1019-1055, August.
  10. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and persistence of oppositional identities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1046-1071.
  11. Zimmermann, Laura & Gataullina, Liliya & Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "Human capital and ethnic self-identification of immigrants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 235-239, March.
  12. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," NBER Working Papers 5163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Amelie Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2009. "Work and Money: Payoffs by Ethnic Identity and Gender," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 908, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Harminder Battu & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Oppositional Identities and Employment for Ethnic Minorities: Evidence from England," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(542), pages F52-F71, 02.
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