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Who are the UK's minority ethnic groups? Issues of identification and measurement in a longitudinal study

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  • Burton, Jonathan
  • Nandi, Alita
  • Platt, Lucinda

Abstract

In this paper we highlight issues related to measuring ethnicity and ethnic identity. We base our discussion on an extensive review of the literature and an intensive consultation process undertaken as part of the development of the ethnicity focused strand of a major new UK panel study, Understanding Society. We conclude that ethnic identity is a multi-dimensional concept and its ideal measure would have to be consistent, reliable as well as capture people’s perception of their own ethnic identity. One way forward is to design a multiple response question with different dimensions of ethnicity as response options.

Suggested Citation

  • Burton, Jonathan & Nandi, Alita & Platt, Lucinda, 2008. "Who are the UK's minority ethnic groups? Issues of identification and measurement in a longitudinal study," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-26, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2008-26
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    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2008-26.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Leslie, Derek & Lindley, Joanne, 2001. "The Impact of Language Ability on Employment and Earnings of Britain's Ethnic Communities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 587-606, November.
    3. Audrey Light & Alita Nandi, 2007. "Identifying race and ethnicity in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 26(2), pages 125-144, April.
    4. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2003. "Language proficiency and labour market performance of immigrants in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 695-717, July.
    5. Chiswick, Barry R., 2008. "The Economics of Language: An Introduction and Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 3568, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    7. M. A. Shields & S. Wheatley Price, 2001. "Language fluency and immigrant employment prospects: evidence from Britain's ethnic minorities," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(11), pages 741-745.
    8. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-1268, December.
    9. Thomas M. Lyons & James J. Heckman & Petra E. Todd, 2000. "Understanding Black-White Wage Differentials, 1960-1990," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 344-349, May.
    10. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-564, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nandi, Alita & Platt, Lucinda, 2009. "Developing ethnic identity questions for Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study," Understanding Society Working Paper Series 2009-03, Understanding Society at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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