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Integration, Social Networks and Economic Success of Immigrants: A Case Study of the Turkish Community in Berlin


  • Alexander M. Danzer
  • Hulya Ulku


The observation that some immigrants choose not to integrate into the host society has caused political controversies across European states. This paper hypothesizes that immigrants can exploit social networks of different scales in order to substitute for costly integration. Using a novel dataset of Turkish households in Berlin, which was specifically collected for this analysis, we investigate the determinants of integration as well as the impact of integration and networks on households’ economic success. We find evidence that integration promotes income even after accounting for potential endogeneity bias. Using endogenous switching regression model, we test whether local ethnic networks can be successfully used to generate household income. In line with the view that there is a trade-off between integration and the establishment of ethnic contacts, we find that local ethnic and familial networks increase the income of unintegrated migrants, while transnational networks decrease it. Moreover, education is more income improving for integrated than non-integrated immigrants and remaining closely integrated within their own ethnic group is more economically advantageous for poorer households. These results provide evidence that integration is the rational strategy for better-off immigrants while it may be too costly for poorer immigrants.
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  • Alexander M. Danzer & Hulya Ulku, 2011. "Integration, Social Networks and Economic Success of Immigrants: A Case Study of the Turkish Community in Berlin," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 342-365, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:64:y:2011:i:3:p:342-365
    DOI: j.1467-6435.2011.00510.x

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander M. Danzer, 2012. "Economic Benefits of Facilitating the Integration of Immigrants," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(4), pages 14-19, 02.
    2. Gil Epstein & Odelia Heizler (Cohen), 2015. "Ethnic identity: a theoretical framework," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-11, December.
    3. Yaron Zelekha, 2013. "The Effect of Immigration on Entrepreneurship," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 438-465, August.
    4. Epstein, Gil S. & Heizler (Cohen), Odelia, 2014. "Ethnosizing Immigrants: A Theoretical Framework," IZA Discussion Papers 8625, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Alexander M. Danzer & Firat Yaman, 2013. "Do Ethnic Enclaves Impede Immigrants' Integration? Evidence from a Quasi-experimental Social-interaction Approach," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 311-325, May.
    6. Peter Grajzl & Jonathan Eastwood & Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl, 2017. "Should Immigrants Culturally Assimilate or Preserve Their Own Culture? Individual Beliefs and the Longevity of National Identity," CESifo Working Paper Series 6470, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Online Networks and Subjective Well-Being," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 456-480, August.
    8. repec:ces:ifodic:v:9:y:2012:i:4:p:17567569 is not listed on IDEAS

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