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Measuring Ethnic Identity and Its Impact on Economic Behavior

  • Amelie Constant
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann

The paper advocates for a new measure of the ethnic identity of migrants, models its determinants and explores its explanatory power for various types of their economic performance. The ethnosizer, a measure of the intensity of a person's ethnic identity, is constructed from information on the following elements: language, culture, societal interaction, history of migration, and ethnic self-identification. A two-dimensional concept of the ethnosizer classifies migrants into four states: integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization. The ethnosizer largely depends on pre-migration characteristics. Empirical evidence studying economic behavior like work participation, earnings and housing decisions demonstrates the significant relevance of ethnic identity for economic outcomes.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.63394.de/diw_sp0047.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 47.

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Length: 23 p.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp47
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  1. Constant, Amelie & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2006. "Gender, Ethnic Identity and Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 5983, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2006. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 2040, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Harminder Battu & McDonald Mwale & Yves Zenou, 2007. "Oppositional identities and the labor market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 643-667, July.
  4. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
  5. Amelie F. Constant & Rowan Roberts & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2009. "Ethnic Identity and Immigrant Homeownership," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 46(9), pages 1879-1898, August.
  6. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F. & Zimmermann, Laura V, 2006. "Clash of Cultures: Muslims and Christians in the Ethnosizing Process," IZA Discussion Papers 2350, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F & Zimmermann, Laura, 2007. "Ethnic Self-Identification of First-Generation Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 6086, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles & Melissa Osborne, 2001. "Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 155-158, May.
  9. GianMarco Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US cities," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 91, Econometric Society.
  10. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Zimmermann, Laura V & Gataullina, Liliya & Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2006. "Human Capital and Ethnic Self-Identification of Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 2300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," IZA Discussion Papers 2583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Oriol Aspachs-Bracons & Irma Clots-Figueras & Joan Costa-Font & Paolo Masella, 2008. "Compulsory Language Educational Policies and Identity Formation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 434-444, 04-05.
  16. Carmel Chiswick, 2009. "The economic determinants of ethnic assimilation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 859-880, October.
  17. Fearon, James D. & Laitin, David D., 2000. "Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(04), pages 845-877, September.
  18. Kuran, Timur, 1998. "Ethnic Norms and Their Transformation through Reputational Cascades," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 623-59, June.
  19. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "'Bend It Like Beckham': Identity, Socialization and Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Nekby, Lena & Rödin, Magnus, 2007. "Acculturation Identity and Labor Market Outcomes," Research Papers in Economics 2007:7, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  21. David Austen-Smith & Ronald G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of 'Acting White'," Discussion Papers 1399, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  22. Mason, Patrick L., 2004. "Annual income, hourly wages, and identity Among Mexican Americans and other Latinos," MPRA Paper 11326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  23. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2007. "Migrant Ethnic Identity: Concept And Policy Implications," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, Summer.
  24. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of "Acting White"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 551-583, May.
  25. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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