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Ethnic identity and labour market outcomes of immigrants in Europe

  • Alberto Bisin
  • Eleonora Patacchini
  • Thierry Verdier
  • Yves Zenou

We study the relationship between ethnic identity and labor-market outcomes of non-EU immigrants in Europe. Using the European Social Survey, we find that there is a penalty to be paid for immigrants with a strong identity. Being a first generation immigrant leads to a penalty of about 17 percent while second-generation immigrants have a probability of being employed that is not statistically different from that of natives. However, when they have a strong identity, second-generation immigrants have a lower chance of finding a job than natives. Our analysis also reveals that the relationship between ethnic identity and employment prospects may depend on the type of integration and labor-market policies implemented in the country where the immigrant lives. More flexible labor markets help immigrants to access the labor market but do not protect those who have a strong ethnic identity.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0327.2010.00258.x
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Article provided by CEPR & CES & MSH in its journal Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 26 (2011)
Issue (Month): 65 (January)
Pages: 57-92

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecpoli:v:26:y:2011:i:65:p:57-92
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  1. Battu, Harminder & Seaman, Paul & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Job contact networks and the ethnic minorities," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 48-56, January.
  2. Andreas Kyriacou, 2010. "George A. Akerlof and Rachel E. Kranton: Identity economics. How our identities shape our work, wages, and well-being," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 325-328, October.
  3. Alberto Bisin & Eleonora Patacchini & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Bend It Like Beckham: Ethnic Identity and Integration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1025, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Chiswick, Barry R. & Houseworth, Christina A., 2008. "Ethnic Intermarriage among Immigrants: Human Capital and Assortative Mating," IZA Discussion Papers 3740, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "Racial Identity and Education," IZA Discussion Papers 2046, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Delia Furtado & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2009. "Intermarriage and Immigrant Employment: The Role of Networks," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 3-2009, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  7. Darity, William Jr. & Mason, Patrick L. & Stewart, James B., 2006. "The economics of identity: The origin and persistence of racial identity norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 283-305, July.
  8. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and Persistence of Oppositional Identities," Research Papers in Economics 2011:16, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
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  12. Bidner, Chris, 2010. "Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-being, George A. Akerlof, Rachel E. Kranton. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ (2010). 185 and vi pp., $16.47 (hc), ISBN:," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1061-1063, December.
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  15. Laura Zimmermann & Klaus F. Zimmermann & Amelie Constant, 2006. "Ethnic Self-Identification of First-Generation Immigrants," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 657, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  16. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Neighborhood effects and parental involvement in the intergenerational transmission of education," Working Papers 2010/47, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  17. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
  18. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Paul Torelli, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 11334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Nekby, Lena & Rödin, Magnus, 2010. "Acculturation identity and employment among second and middle generation immigrants," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 35-50, February.
  20. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2003. "Language proficiency and labour market performance of immigrants in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 695-717, 07.
  21. Mason, Patrick L., 2004. "Annual income, hourly wages, and identity Among Mexican Americans and other Latinos," MPRA Paper 11326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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