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Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence

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  • Anna Piil Damm

Abstract

I examine the effects of the ethnic enclave size on labor market outcomes of immigrants. I account for ability sorting into enclaves by exploiting a Danish spatial dispersal policy under which refugees were randomly dispersed across locations. First, I find strong evidence that refugees with unfavorable unobserved characteristics self-select into ethnic enclaves. Second, a relative standard deviation increase in the ethnic enclave size increases annual earnings by 18% on average, irrespective of skill level. Third, further findings are consistent with the explanation that ethnic networks disseminate job information, which increases the job-worker match quality and thereby the hourly wage rate. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago.

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  • Anna Piil Damm, 2009. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labor Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 281-314, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:27:y:2009:i:2:p:281-314
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    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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