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

  • Meng, Xin

    ()

    (Australian National University)

  • Meurs, Dominique

    ()

    (University Paris Ouest-Nanterre)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2461.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2009, 30 (1-2), 127-144
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2461
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  1. A. Dupray & Stéphanie Moullet, 2004. "Quelles discriminations à l'encontre des jeunes d'origine maghrébine à l'entrée du marché du travail en France?," Brussels Economic Review, in: Lahcen Achy (ed.), Marché du travail et genre: Maghreb-Europe ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. repec:iza:izadps:dp1142 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Bell, Brian D, 1997. "The Performance of Immigrants in the United Kingdom: Evidence from the GHS," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(441), pages 333-44, March.
  4. 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 463-89, October.
  5. Angrist, Joshua, 2001. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation," IZA Discussion Papers 368, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Dustmann, Christian & van Soest, Arthur, 1998. "Language and the Earnings of Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 2012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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 246-88, April.
  11. 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.
  12. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 2487, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Eric Maurin, 1991. "Les étrangers : une main-d'oeuvre à part ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 242(1), pages 39-50.
  14. Constant, Amelie F., 2003. "Immigrant Adjustment in France and Impacts on the Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 866, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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