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Bend It Like Beckham: Ethnic Identity and Integration

  • Alberto Bisin


    (New York University, Department of Economics; and NBER)

  • Eleonora Patacchini


    (Universita' di Roma "La Sapienza," CEPR, and IZA)

  • Thierry Verdier


    (Paris School of Economics and CEPR)

  • Yves Zenou


    (Stockholm University, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, CEPR, and CREAM)

We propose a theoretical framework to study the determinants of ethnic and religious identity along two distinct motivational processes which have been proposed in the social sciences: cultural conformity and cultural distinction. Under cultural conformity, ethnic identity is reduced by neighborhood integration, which weakens group loyalties and prejudices. On the contrary, under cultural distinction, ethnic minorities are more motivated in retaining their own distinctive cultural heritage the more integrated are the neighborhoods where they reside and work. Data on ethnic preferences and attitudes provided by the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities in the UK enables us to test the relative significance of these two identity processes. We find evidence consistent with intense ethnic and religious identity mostly formed as a cultural distinction mechanism. Consistently, we document that ethnic identities are more intense in mixed than in segregated neighborhoods.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 1025.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1025
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  1. Daniel T. Lichter & J. Brian Brown & Zhenchao Qian & Julie H. Carmalt, 2007. "Marital Assimilation Among Hispanics: Evidence of Declining Cultural and Economic Incorporation?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(3), pages 745-765.
  2. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Ethnosizing immigrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 274-287, March.
  3. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Neighborhood effects and parental involvement in the intergenerational transmission of education," Working Papers 2010/47, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  4. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Andreas Kyriacou, 2010. "George A. Akerlof and Rachel E. Kranton: Identity economics. How our identities shape our work, wages, and well-being," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 325-328, October.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Amelie Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2007. "Measuring Ethnic Identity and Its Impact on Economic Behavior," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 721, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2008. "Neighborhoods, Economic Self-Sufficiency, and the MTO Program," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt1nd2t0pw, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  9. Chiswick, Carmel U., 2006. "The Economic Determinants of Ethnic Assimilation," IZA Discussion Papers 2212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Wilde, Joachim, 2000. "Identification of multiple equation probit models with endogenous dummy regressors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 309-312, December.
  11. Bidner, Chris, 2010. "Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-being, George A. Akerlof, Rachel E. Kranton. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ (2010). 185 and vi pp., $16.47 (hc), ISBN:," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1061-1063, December.
  12. Kaivan Munshi & Nicholas Wilson, 2008. "Identity, Parochial Institutions, and Occupational Choice: Linking the Past to the Present in the American Midwest," NBER Working Papers 13717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and persistence of oppositional identities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1046-1071.
  14. 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.
  15. Kevin Lang, 2007. "Introduction to Poverty and Discrimination
    [Poverty and Discrimination]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  16. Nekby, Lena & Rödin, Magnus, 2010. "Acculturation identity and employment among second and middle generation immigrants," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 35-50, February.
  17. B. Curtis Eaton & Mukesh Eswaran & Robert J. Oxoby, 2011. "Us and `Them': the origin of identity, and its economic implications," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(3), pages 719-748, August.
  18. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Paul Torelli, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 11334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Darity, William Jr. & Mason, Patrick L. & Stewart, James B., 2006. "The economics of identity: The origin and persistence of racial identity norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 283-305, July.
  20. Alberto Bisin & Andrea Moro & Giorgio Topa, 2006. "The Empirical Content of Models with Multiple Equilibria," 2006 Meeting Papers 660, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  21. repec:clg:wpaper:2009-03 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Alberto Bisin & Giorgio Topa & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Religious Intermarriage and Socialization in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 615-664, June.
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