The Social Assimilation of Immigrants
Policy makers in migrant-receiving countries must often strike a delicate balance between economic needs, that would dictate a substantial increase in the number of foreign workers, and political and electoral imperatives, that typically result in highly restrictive immigration policies. Promoting integration of migrants into the host country would go a long way in alleviating the trade off between economic and political considerations. While there is a large literature on the economic assimilation of immigrants, somewhat less attention has been devoted to other – and equally crucial – dimensions of migrants’ integration, namely the process of social assimilation. The aim of this paper is to take a close look at migrants’ social integration into the host country. We rely on the European Community Household panel (ECHP), which devotes a full module to the role and relevance of social relations for both migrants and natives. An innovative feature of this analysis is that it relies on migrants perceptions about their integration rather than – as is typically the case in most opinion surveys – on natives attitudes toward migrants. The main results of the paper can be summarized as follows. First, migrants – particularly from non EU origins - are at a disadvantage in the fields of social relations. Even after controlling for their individual characteristics, such as age, education, family size, and employment status, they tend to socialize less than natives. Second, migrants tend to converge, albeit quite slowly, to the standard of natives. This finding highlights the risks of short term migration, where migrants tend to be constantly marginalized. Third, education has a significant impact on the type of social activities that individuals undertake. More educated people tend to relate somewhat less with their close neighbourhood, but quite intensively with the broader community. The implication for policy makers concerned about the creation of ethnic enclaves is to promote education among immigrants’ community.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
|Order Information:|| Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Durlauf,S.N., 2001.
"On the empirics of social capital,"
3, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Steven N. Durlauf & Marcel Fafchamps, 2004.
NBER Working Papers
10485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Durlauf,S.N. & Fafchamps,M., 2004. "Social capital," Working papers 12, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Steven Durlauf & Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Social Capital," Development and Comp Systems 0409060, EconWPA.
- Steven N. Durlauf & Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Social Capital," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-14, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Anna Maria Mayda, 2006.
"Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 510-530, August.
- Mayda, Anna Maria, 2004. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Anna Maria Mayda, 2004. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," Development Working Papers 187, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
- Anna Maria Mayda (Georgetown University), 2005. "Who Is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes towards Immigrants," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-10, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- George J. Borjas, 1987.
"Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants,"
NBER Working Papers
2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2439. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.