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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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Related research

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

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References

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  1. 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, vol. 118(1), pages 329-357, February.
  2. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 1999. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," Working Papers 9903, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  3. Alexander M. Danzer & Firat Yaman, 2012. "Do Ethnic Enclaves Impede Immigrants' Integration?: Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Social-Interaction Approach," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 519, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," NBER Working Papers 5163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Anna Piil Damm, 2009. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 281-314, 04.
  7. Battu, Harminder & Zenou, Yves, 2009. "Oppositional Identities and Employment for Ethnic Minorities: Evidence from England," IZA Discussion Papers 4517, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Zimmermann, Laura & Gataullina, Liliya & Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "Human capital and ethnic self-identification of immigrants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 235-239, March.
  9. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2006. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 2040, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. Cutler, David M. & Glaeser, Edward L. & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2008. "When are ghettos bad? Lessons from immigrant segregation in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 759-774, May.
  14. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and Persistence of Oppositional Identities," CEPR Discussion Papers 8380, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Alexander M. Danzer & Firat Yaman, 2010. "Ethnic Concentration and Language Fluency of Immigrants in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 277, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  16. Akay, Alpaslan & Constant, Amelie & Giulietti, Corrado, 2014. "The impact of immigration on the well-being of natives," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 72-92.
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