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

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

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.

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File URL: https://www.understandingsociety.ac.uk/research/publications/working-paper/understanding-society/2008-02.pdf
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Paper provided by Understanding Society at the Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series Understanding Society Working Paper Series with number 2008-02.

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Date of creation: 23 Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:ukhlsp:2008-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: RAB Butler Building, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, ESSEX C04 3SQ
Phone: +44 (0)1206 872957
Fax: +44 (0)1206 873151
Web page: https://www.understandingsociety.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers
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  1. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 156, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Chiswick, Barry R., 2008. "The Economics of Language: An Introduction and Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 3568, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Carmel Chiswick, 2009. "The economic determinants of ethnic assimilation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 859-880, October.
  5. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
  6. Audrey Light & Alita Nandi, 2007. "Identifying race and ethnicity in the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 125-144, April.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  10. 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.
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