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Assimilation through Marriage

  • Gil S. Epstein


    (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Renana Lindner Pomerantz

During the last few decades cultural changes have been taking place in many countries due to migration. The degree to which the foreign culture influences the local culture, differs across countries. This paper shows how the willingness of locals and immigrants to intermarry influences the culture and the national identity of the host country. We use a search-theoretic approach to show that, even in situations where migrants and natives prefer to marry within their own community, the search process may lead to intermarriage. The exogamy can take on two forms: either migrants and natives each hold on to their own culture or the immigrants take on the natives' culture. In the first case we will see new cultures developing and the local culture will not survive over time. In the second case the local culture will survive. We show the conditions for assimilation versus no assimilation between the groups.

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Paper provided by Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-11.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:biu:wpaper:2012-11
Contact details of provider: Postal: Faculty of Social Sciences, Bar Ilan University 52900 Ramat-Gan
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  1. Epstein, Gil S, 2002. "Informational Cascades and Decision to Migrate," CEPR Discussion Papers 3287, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
  3. Chiswick, Carmel U., 2006. "The Economic Determinants of Ethnic Assimilation," IZA Discussion Papers 2212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Furtado, Delia & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2010. "Why Does Intermarriage Increase Immigrant Employment? The Role of Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 5080, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Gang, Ira N. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Is Child like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," IZA Discussion Papers 57, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Chiswick, Barry R, 1977. "Sons of Immigrants: Are They at an Earnings Disadvantage?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 376-80, February.
  7. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
  8. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2010. "Migration and Culture," IZA Discussion Papers 5123, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Xin Meng & Dominique Meurs, 2009. "Intermarriage, language, and economic assimilation process: A case study of France," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(1/2), pages 127-144, May.
  10. Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2006. "The Influence of Stocks and Flows on Migrants’ Location Choices," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-13, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  11. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
  12. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  13. Anas, Alex, 2002. "Prejudice, exclusion, and compensating transfers: the economics of ethnic segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 409-432, November.
  14. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  15. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
  16. Gil S. Epstein & Tikva Lecker, 2001. "Multi-Generation Model of Immigrant Earnings: Theory and Application," Working Papers 2001-06, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  17. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  18. Ken Burdett & Melvyn G. Coles, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-168.
  19. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Furtado, Delia & Theodoropoulos, Nikolaos, 2009. "I'll Marry You If You Get Me a Job: Marital Assimilation and Immigrant Employment Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 3951, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Tracy J. Cornelius, 2003. "A Search Model of Marriage and Divorce," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 135-155, January.
  22. Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: The Australian Points System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 192-197, May.
  23. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1999. "Unemployment Responses to 'Skill-Biased' Technology Shocks: The Role of Labour Market Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 242-65, April.
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