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Work and Money: Payoffs by Ethnic Identity and Gender

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  • Amelie Constant
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann

Abstract

Upon arrival in the host country, immigrants undergo a fundamental identity crisis. Their ethnic identity being questioned, they can be classified into four states - assimilation, integration, separation and marginalization. This is suggested by the ethnosizer, a newly established measure to parameterize a person's ethnic identity, using individual information on language, culture, societal interaction, history of migration, and ethnic self-identification. In what state individuals end up varies among immigrants even from the same country. Moreover, the quest for ethnic identity affects women and men differentially. This paper contends that ethnic identity can significantly affect the attachment to and performance of immigrants in the host country labor market, beyond human capital and ethnic origin characteristics. Empirical estimates for immigrants in Germany show that ethnic identity is important for the decision to work and significantly and differentially affects the labor force participation of men and women. Women who exhibit the integrated identity are more likely to work than women who are German assimilated; this does not hold for men. However, once we control for selection in the labor market and a slew of individual and labor market characteristics, ethnic identity does not significantly affect the earnings of men or women immigrant workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Amelie Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2009. "Work and Money: Payoffs by Ethnic Identity and Gender," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 908, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp908
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Ethnosizing immigrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 274-287, March.
    2. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
    3. Carmel Chiswick, 2009. "The economic determinants of ethnic assimilation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(4), pages 859-880, October.
    4. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2016. "The economic value of cultural diversity: evidence from US cities," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Economics of International Migration, chapter 7, pages 229-264 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    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. Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2008. "Measuring Ethnic Identity and its Impact on Economic Behavior," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 424-433, 04-05.
    7. 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.
    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. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-1418, December.
    10. 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).
    11. 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.
    12. Kuran, Timur, 1998. "Ethnic Norms and Their Transformation through Reputational Cascades," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 623-659, June.
    13. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of "Acting White"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 551-583.
    14. Harminder Battu & McDonald Mwale & Yves Zenou, 2007. "Oppositional identities and the labor market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 643-667, July.
    15. Mason, Patrick L., 2004. "Annual income, hourly wages, and identity Among Mexican Americans and other Latinos," MPRA Paper 11326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Alberto Bisin & Eleonora Patacchini & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2008. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 445-456, 04-05.
    17. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    18. 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.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Amelie F. Constant & Annabelle Krause & Ulf Rinne & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2017. "Reservation wages of first- and second-generation migrants," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(13), pages 945-949, July.
    2. repec:sae:ilrrev:v:70:y:2017:i:5:p:1146-1175 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Simone Schüller, 2015. "Parental ethnic identity and educational attainment of second-generation immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 965-1004, October.
    4. repec:eme:ijmpps:v:37:y:2016:i:7:p:1136-1153 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Epstein, Gil S. & Heizler (Cohen), Odelia, 2014. "Ethnosizing Immigrants: A Theoretical Framework," IZA Discussion Papers 8625, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Amelie F. Constant & Martin Kahanec & Ulf Rinne & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "Ethnicity, job search and labor market reintegration of the unemployed," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(7), pages 753-776, October.
    7. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2017. "The Complexity of Immigrant Generations: Implications for Assessing the Socioeconomic Integration of Hispanics and Asians," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(5), pages 1146-1175, October.
    8. Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "Migration, Ethnicity and Economic Integration," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume III, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Amelie F. Constant & Annabelle Krause & Ulf Rinne & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "Economic preferences and attitudes of the unemployed: Are natives and second generation migrants alike?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(7), pages 825-851, October.
    10. Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2017. "The role of social networks in cultural assimilation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 15-39.
    11. Nick Drydakis, 2013. "The effect of ethnic identity on the employment of immigrants," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 285-308, June.
    12. Gil S. Epstein & Odelia Heizler (Cohen), 2016. "The formation of networks in the diaspora," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 1136-1153, October.
    13. repec:eee:labeco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:152-169 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Constant, Amelie F. & Schüller, Simone & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2013. "Ethnic Spatial Dispersion and Immigrant Identity," IZA Discussion Papers 7868, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Gil S. Epstein & Odelia Heizler (Cohen), 2016. "Networks in the Diaspora," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1604, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    16. Georgiadis, Andreas & Manning, Alan, 2013. "One nation under a groove? Understanding national identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 166-185.
    17. Constant, Amelie F., 2014. "Ethnic Identity and Work," IZA Discussion Papers 8571, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Seah, Kelvin KC, 2018. "Immigrant educators and students’ academic achievement," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 152-169.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ethnosizer; ethnicity; ethnic identity; immigrant assimilation; integration; ethnic earnings;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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