Intermarriage, language, and economic assimilation process: A case study of France
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to study the role of intermarriage in the process of immigrant economic assimilation in France. Design/methodology/approach – The authors estimate an earnings equation for immigrants in France to examine the extent to which intermarried immigrants are better assimilated in the labor market – as measured by earnings – than their non-intermarried counterparts. To handle the possible endogeneity problem of intermarriage, two novel instruments are used: the “sex ratio” for each region-ethnicity cell, and “probability of marrying within one's own ethnic group”. Findings – It wass found that immigrants who are intermarried earn around 17 per cent more than immigrants who are endogamously married. After taking into account individual characteristics and endogeneity of intermarriage, the premium is around 25 to 35 per cent. In addition, the intermarriage premium is substantially higher for individuals who have a better grasp of the French language before migration than for those whose language skill is poor. This result seems to suggest that, perhaps, immigrants who have a strong base in the native language can gain greater benefit from intermarriage. Originality/value – The paper is the first to investigate this important aspect of immigrants' assimilation process in the French labor market.
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Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1/2 (May)
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