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Immigration Restriction and Long-Run Cultural Assimilation: Theory and Quasi-Experimental Evidence

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We study the effect of restrictions to immigration on the cultural assimilation of the second generation. Our theoretical model shows that restrictive policies incentivize to permanent immigration individuals with a stronger taste for their original culture. Permanent immigration implies reproduction in the destination country and transmission of cultural traits to the second generation, which will therefore experience a more difficult assimilation. We test this prediction by using the 1973 immigration ban in Germany (Anwerbestopp) as a quasi-experiment, since it only concerned immigrants from countries outside the European Economic Community. Thus, our treatment group is given by the second generation of non-EEC immigrants. Our estimates show that the Anwerbestopp has reduced the cultural assimilation of this generation. This result is robust to several checks, including a triple differences analysis. We conclude that restrictive immigration policies may have unwanted consequences on the process of cultural assimilation.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 349.

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Date of creation: 18 Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:349

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Keywords: return migration; cultural transmission; difference-in-differences;

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  1. Drabo, Alassane & Mbaye, Linguère Mously, 2011. "Climate Change, Natural Disasters and Migration: An Empirical Analysis in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 5927, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  5. Constant, Amelie & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2006. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 5636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Laura Jaitman & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Crime and Immigration: New Evidence from England and Wales," CEP Discussion Papers dp1238, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Borjas, George J, 1993. "The Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 113-35, January.
  9. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
  10. Michel Beine & Christopher Parsons, 2012. "Climatic factors as determinants of International Migration," CREA Discussion Paper Series 12-01, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  11. Yannis M. Ioannides & Giulio Zanella, 2008. "Searching for the Best Neighborhood: Mobility and Social Interactions," Department of Economics University of Siena 533, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  12. Christian Dustmann, 1996. "The social assimilation of immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 37-54, February.
  13. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
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