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Migrants?Acquisition of Cultural Skills and Selective Immigration Policies

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  • Moritz Bonn

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    (University of Siegen)

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    Abstract

    Based on the requirement of OECD countries to permit substantial in?ows of immigrants to compensate for the e¤ects of the demographic change, this paper explores the incentives of heterogeneous migrants to acquire host country speci?c cultural skills to improve their labor market outcomes. The theoretical results predict that the migrants? ambition in achieving such skills is increased if the scope of their respective cultural group is small, social permeability of migrants in the native society is large and individual integration costs are low. Based on these results, I study whether cultural heterogeneity among the migrant population is welfare enhancing for the native population. I ?nd that as long as migrants do not di¤er too much with regard to their costs of learning the native culture, cultural heterogeneity is bene?cial for the host economy. The model provides an explanation for the shift in the immigration policies of the traditional host countries throughout the twentieth century as well as the current immigration policies in the EU member states.

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    File URL: https://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/47-2012_bonn.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2012
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) in its series MAGKS Papers on Economics with number 201247.

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    Length: 21 pages
    Date of creation: 2012
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    Publication status: Forthcoming in
    Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201247

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    Related research

    Keywords: Immigration; Cultural Interaction; Political Economy;

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    1. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
    2. Jeffrey Church & Ian King, 1993. "Bilingualism and Network Externalities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 337-45, May.
    3. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Global Migration and the World Economy: Two Centuries of Policy and Performance," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582775, December.
    4. Paul W. Miller & Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Language skills and earnings among legalized aliens," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 63-89.
    5. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-88, April.
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