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Social Exclusion of Nicaraguans in the Urban Metropolitan Area of San Jose, Costa Rica

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Listed:
  • Edward Funkhouser
  • Juan Pablo Pérez Sáinz
  • Carlos Sojo

Abstract

The large number of recent Nicaraguan immigrants to Costa Rica during the 1990s have outcomes that are worse than Costa Ricans in many dimensions. Moreover, Nicaraguans are geographically and occupationally concentrated. This paper documents the magnitude of Nicaraguan group effects and examines the consistency of the evidence with the main explanations for social exclusion. The results -and especially the high levels of labor market participation - suggest that Nicaraguans, like other immigrant groups that have chosen to migrate, are vulnerable rather than excluded. There is some evidence that the mechanisms leading to changes in legal status, transferability of skills, and discrimination could explain some of Nicaraguans’ worse outcomes and type of integration. While there is not a strong relationship between neighborhood characteristics and outcomes once other controls are included, the current housing policy of the Costa Rican government makes it likely that geographic concentration of Nicaraguans will continue to increase, which could lead to a negative relationship between concentration and outcomes in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward Funkhouser & Juan Pablo Pérez Sáinz & Carlos Sojo, 2002. "Social Exclusion of Nicaraguans in the Urban Metropolitan Area of San Jose, Costa Rica," Research Department Publications 3133, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3133
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1019-1055.
    2. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1999. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 455-506, June.
    3. Borjas, George J., 1998. "To Ghetto or Not to Ghetto: Ethnicity and Residential Segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 228-253, September.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "The Economic Approach to Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 7728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Glenn C. Loury, 2000. "Social Exclusion and Ethnic Groups: The Challenge to Economics," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 106, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
    6. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-872.
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