Identity and Mobility: Historical Fractionalization, Parochial Institutions, and Occupational Choice in the American Midwest
AbstractThis paper examines the role played by identity, or a sense of belonging to a home community, in determining occupational choice and mobility. The analysis links competition between migrant networks in the Midwest when it was rst developing, and the in-group identity that emerged endogenously to support these networks, to institutional participation and occupational choice today. Individuals born in counties with greater ethnic fractionalization in 1860, where identity was more likely to have emerged, are (i) significantly more likely to participate in institutions such as churches and parochial schools that transmit identity from one generation to the next, and (ii) significantly less likely to select into mobile skilled occupations 150 years later. The effect of historical fractionalization on participation in these socializing institutions actually grows stronger over the course of the twentieth century, emphasizing the idea that small initial differences in identity can have large long-term effects on institutions and economic choices.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2010-20.
Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision: Dec 2010
Other versions of this item:
- Nicholas Wilson & Kavian Munshi, 2010. "Identity and Mobility: Historical Fractionalization, Parochial Institutions, and Occupational Choice in the American Midwest," Center for Development Economics 2011-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
- J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
- L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
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