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Immigration restrictions and second-generation cultural assimilation: theory and quasi-experimental evidence

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  • Fausto Galli

    (Universita’ di Salerno)

  • Giuseppe Russo

    (Universita’ di Salerno
    Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF))

Abstract

We study the effects of immigration restrictions on the cultural assimilation of second-generation migrants. In our theoretical model, when mobility is free, individuals with a stronger taste for their native culture migrate temporarily. When immigration is restricted, however, these individuals are incentivized to relocate permanently. Permanent emigrants procreate in the destination country and convey their cultural traits to the second generation, who will therefore find assimilation harder. We test this prediction by using the 1973 immigration ban in Germany (Anwerbestopp) as a quasi-experiment. Since the ban only concerned immigrants from countries outside the European Economic Community, they act as a treatment group. According to our estimates, the Anwerbestopp has reduced the cultural assimilation of the second generation. This result demonstrated robustness to several checks. We conclude that restrictive immigration policies may have the unintended consequence of delaying the intergenerational process of cultural assimilation.

Suggested Citation

  • Fausto Galli & Giuseppe Russo, 2019. "Immigration restrictions and second-generation cultural assimilation: theory and quasi-experimental evidence," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 23-51, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:32:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s00148-018-0694-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-018-0694-z
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Second-generation immigration; Intergenerational assimilation; Cultural transmission; Social and economic stratification;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K37 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Immigration Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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