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Intermarriage, Language, and Economic Assimilation Process: A Case Study of France

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Listed:
  • Meng, Xin

    () (Australian National University)

  • Meurs, Dominique

    () (University Paris Ouest-Nanterre)

Abstract

Lack of economic assimilation of immigrants often results in social and political unrest of a society. The increased desire to understand better the nature of the assimilation process of immigrants is due to increased immigration flows in many western countries. In this paper we try to study the role of intermarriage in the process of immigrant economic assimilation in France. We find that among all immigrants those who are intermarried earn around 17 per cent more than those who are endogamously married. Once taking into account individual characteristics and endogeneity of intermarriage, the premium is around 25 to 35 per cent. In addition, the intermarriage premium is substantially higher for individuals who have better grasp of French language before migration than for those whose language skill is poor. This result seems to suggest that, perhaps, immigrants who have a strong base in the native language can better reap the gain from intermarriage.

Suggested Citation

  • Meng, Xin & Meurs, Dominique, 2006. "Intermarriage, Language, and Economic Assimilation Process: A Case Study of France," IZA Discussion Papers 2461, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2461
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kantarevic, Jasmin, 2004. "Interethnic Marriages and Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1142, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-288, April.
    5. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    6. Eric Maurin, 1991. "Les étrangers : une main-d'oeuvre à part ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 242(1), pages 39-50.
    7. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038.
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    10. 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.
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    13. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigration; economic assimilation; intermarriage;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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