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A Reluctance to Assimilate


  • Stark, Oded
  • Fan, C. Simon


Quite often, migrants appear to exert little effort to absorb the mainstream culture and to learn the language of their host society, even though the economic returns (increased productivity and enhanced earnings) to assimilation are high. We show that when interpersonal comparisons affect individuals' wellbeing and when a more intensive assimilation results in migrants' comparing themselves more with the richer natives and less with fellow migrants, then the effort extended to assimilate will be muted.

Suggested Citation

  • Stark, Oded & Fan, C. Simon, 2006. "A Reluctance to Assimilate," Discussion Papers 7125, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:7125

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mountford, Andrew, 1997. "Can a brain drain be good for growth in the source economy?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 287-303, August.
    2. Ashenfelter, Orley & Ham, John, 1979. "Education, Unemployment, and Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 99-116, October.
    3. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1997. "A brain gain with a brain drain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 227-234, August.
    4. Joseph Schaafsma & Arthur Sweetman, 2001. "Immigrant earnings: age at immigration matters," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1066-1099, November.
    5. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Prskawetz, Alexia, 1998. "Human capital depletion, human capital formation, and migration: a blessing or a "curse"?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 363-367, September.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1999. "Efficient Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 893-928, October.
    7. Todaro, Michael P, 1969. "A Model for Labor Migration and Urban Unemployment in Less Developed Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 138-148, March.
    8. Stark, Oded & Wang, Yong, 2002. "Inducing human capital formation: migration as a substitute for subsidies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 29-46, October.
    9. Stark, Oded, 2004. "Rethinking the Brain Drain," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 15-22, January.
    10. repec:pri:indrel:dsp01fb494841t is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Bhagwati, Jagdish & Hamada, Koichi, 1974. "The brain drain, international integration of markets for professionals and unemployment : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-42, April.
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