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Cross-Country Performance in Social Integration of Older Migrants. A European Perspective

  • Caroline Berchet


    (IRDES institut for research and information in health economics)

  • Nicolas Sirven


    (IRDES institut for research and information in health economics)

This paper provides new empirical evidence on the relationship between migration and social integration. It explores the hypothesis that migrants essentially differ from non-migrants with regard to the length of residence in the country – which is a proxy of migrants’ social distance to natives. The determinants of social participation and interpersonal trust are examined at both the individual and institutional level. Using SHARE data and macroeconomic series, we first analyse the influence of immigrant length of stay in the host country on social integration indicators. We then examine the role institutional characteristics play on cross-country differences in speed of social integration (i.e. immigrants’ propensity to social participation according to their length of stay in the host country). As expected, the immigrant population presents a lower likelihood than the native population to get involved in social activities and to trust other people. Nevertheless, the more immigrants have spent time in the host country, the more they take part in social activities. The analysis also reveals significant cross-country differences in immigrants’ speed of social integration. Macroeconomic series like the GINI coefficient of income inequality and the Corruption perceived index could explain these differences. From a public policy perspective, our results suggest that immigrants’ social integration is more rapidly achieved in “fair” countries – i.e. those with a more favourable social environment – where the levels of income inequality and perceived corruption are lower.

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Paper provided by IRDES institut for research and information in health economics in its series Working Papers with number DT46.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision: Mar 2012
Handle: RePEc:irh:wpaper:dt46
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  1. Åslund, Olof & Böhlmark, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Age at migration and social integration," Working Paper Series 2009:21, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  2. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  5. de Palo, Domenico & Faini, Riccardo & Venturini, Alessandra, 2007. "The social assimilation of immigrants," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 38578, The World Bank.
  6. Carine Franc & Marc Perronnin & Aurélie Pierre, 2010. "Subscribing to Supplemental Health Insurance in France: A Dynamic Analysis of Adverse Selection," Working Papers DT35, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Dec 2010.
  7. Peter Dinesen, 2011. "A Note on the Measurement of Generalized Trust of Immigrants and Natives," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 103(1), pages 169-177, August.
  8. Aleksynska, Mariya, 2011. "Civic participation of immigrants in Europe: Assimilation, origin, and destination country effects," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 566-585, September.
  9. Clément Nestrigue & Zeynep Or, 2012. "Estimation du surcoût des événements indésirables associés aux soins à l'hôpital en France," Working Papers DT44, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Feb 2012.
  10. Florence Jusot & Sandy Tubeuf & Alain Trannoy, 2010. "Effort or Circumstances: Does the Correlation Matter for Inequality of Opportunity in Health?," Working Papers DT33, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Jul 2010.
  11. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. Mousquès, Julien & Bourgueil, Yann & Le Fur, Philippe & Yilmaz, Engin, 2010. "Effect of a French experiment of team work between general practitioners and nurses on efficacy and cost of type 2 diabetes patients care," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(2-3), pages 131-143, December.
  13. d'Hombres, Beatrice & Rocco, Lorenzo & Suhrcke, Marc & McKee, Martin, 2006. "Does social capital determine health? Evidence from eight transition countries," MPRA Paper 1862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Thierry Debrand & Christine Sorasith, 2010. "Out-of-Pocket Maximum Rules under a Compulsatory Health Care Insurance Scheme: A Choice between Equality and Equity," Working Papers DT34, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Nov 2010.
  15. Jan Fidrmuc & Klarita Gërxhani, 2005. "Formation of social capital in Central and Eastern Europe: Understanding the gap vis-à-vis developed countries," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp766, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  16. Éloi Laurent, 2009. "Peut-on se fier à la confiance ?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 5-30.
  17. Catherine Pollak, 2012. "Employed and Happy despite Weak Health? Labour Market Participation and Job Quality of Older Workers with Disabilities," Working Papers DT45, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Mar 2012.
  18. Emmanuelle Cambois & Florence Jusot, 2010. "Monitoring Health Inequalities in France: A Short Tool for Routine Health SUrvey to Account for LifeLong Adverse Experiences," Working Papers DT30, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Mar 2010.
  19. Mohamed Ali Ben Halima & Thierry Debrand, 2011. "Durée d’arrêt de travail, salaire et Assurance maladie : application microéconométrique à partir de la base Hygie," Working Papers DT42, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Sep 2011.
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