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Naturalization proclivities, ethnicity and integration

  • Klaus F. Zimmermann
  • Amelie F. Constant
  • Liliya Gataullina

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study the determinants of naturalization of non-EU immigrant household heads with a fresh look at the role of integration and ethnicity. Design/methodology/approach – Employing data on immigrant household heads from the German Socioeconomic Panel differentiation is made among those who already have been naturalized, those who plan to take citizenship, and those who do not have citizenship and do not want it, using multinomial probit models. The subject scope includes literature on naturalization, ethnicity, and integration. Findings – A robust finding is that German citizenship is very valuable to female immigrant household heads and the generally better educated, but not to those educated in Germany. The degree of integration into German society has a differential effect on citizenship acquisition. While a longer residence in Germany has a negative influence on actual or future naturalization, arriving at a younger age and having close German friends are strong indicators of a positive proclivity to citizenship acquisition. Likewise, ethnic origins and religion also influence these decisions. Muslim immigrants in Germany are more willing to become German citizens than non-Muslim immigrants, but there are also fewer German citizens among Muslims than among non-Muslims. Research limitations/implications – Future research should also investigate the second-generation naturalization proclivities and those of illegals. Practical implications – Allowing for dual citizenship helps generate more naturalizations among Muslims. Originality/value – The paper provides a test of the relative importance of the integration approach in comparison with the ethnicity model; demonstrating that integration in German society has a stronger effect on naturalization than ethnic origin and religion.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1/2 (May)
Pages: 70-82

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:30:y:2009:i:1/2:p:70-82
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  1. Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2007. "Circular Migration: Counts of Exits and Years Away from the Host Country," IZA Discussion Papers 2999, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Bernt Bratsberg & James F. Ragan & Zafar M. Nasir, 2002. "The Effect of Naturalization on Wage Growth: A Panel Study of Young Male Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 568-597, July.
  3. Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2006. "Legal Status at Entry, Economic Performance and Self-Employment Proclivity: A Bi-National Study of Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 5696, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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