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Measuring Ethnic Identity and Its Impact on Economic Behavior

  • Constant, Amelie F.

    (Temple University)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

The paper advocates for a new measure of the ethnic identity of migrants, models its determinants and explores its explanatory power for various types of their economic performance. The ethnosizer, a measure of the intensity of a person's ethnic identity, is constructed from information on the following elements: language, culture, societal interaction, history of migration, and ethnic self-identification. A two-dimensional concept of the ethnosizer classifies migrants into four states: integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization. The ethnosizer largely depends on pre-migration characteristics. Empirical evidence studying economic behavior like work participation, earnings and housing decisions demonstrates the significant relevance of ethnic identity for economic outcomes.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp3063.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3063.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2008, 6 (2-3), 424-433
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3063
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  1. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," NBER Working Papers 10904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nekby, Lena & Rödin, Magnus, 2007. "Acculturation Identity and Labor Market Outcomes," Research Papers in Economics 2007:7, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  3. Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2007. "Migrant Ethnic Identity: Concept and Policy Implications," IZA Discussion Papers 3056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Amelie F. Constant & Liliya Gataullina & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2009. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," Post-Print hal-00671932, HAL.
  5. Zimmermann, Laura & Gataullina, Liliya & Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "Human capital and ethnic self-identification of immigrants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 235-239, March.
  6. David Austen-Smith & Ronald G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of 'Acting White'," Discussion Papers 1399, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "'Bend It Like Beckham': Identity, Socialization and Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Oriol Aspachs-Bracons & Irma Clots-Figueras & Joan Costa-Font & Paolo Masella, 2008. "Compulsory Language Educational Policies and Identity Formation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 434-444, 04-05.
  9. Battu, Harminder & Mwale, MacDonald & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Oppositional Identities and the Labour Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5351, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
  11. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F. & Zimmermann, Laura V, 2006. "Clash of Cultures: Muslims and Christians in the Ethnosizing Process," IZA Discussion Papers 2350, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles & Melissa Osborne, 2001. "Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 155-158, May.
  13. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Constant, Amelie & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2006. "Gender, Ethnic Identity and Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 5983, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  16. Amelie Constant & Rowan Roberts & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2007. "Ethnic Identity and Immigrant Homeownership," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 57, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  17. Alberto Bisin & Eleonora Patacchini & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2008. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," Post-Print halshs-00754289, HAL.
  18. Kuran, Timur, 1998. "Ethnic Norms and Their Transformation through Reputational Cascades," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 623-59, June.
  19. Laura Zimmermann & Klaus F. Zimmermann & Amelie Constant, 2006. "Ethnic Self-Identification of First-Generation Immigrants," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 657, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  20. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of "Acting White"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 551-583.
  21. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 50, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  22. Carmel Chiswick, 2009. "The economic determinants of ethnic assimilation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(4), pages 859-880, October.
  23. Darity, William Jr. & Mason, Patrick L. & Stewart, James B., 2006. "The economics of identity: The origin and persistence of racial identity norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 283-305, July.
  24. Fearon, James D. & Laitin, David D., 2000. "Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(04), pages 845-877, September.
  25. Mason, Patrick L., 2004. "Annual income, hourly wages, and identity Among Mexican Americans and other Latinos," MPRA Paper 11326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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