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Ethnicity, Assimilation and Harassment in the Labor Market

Author

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  • Epstein, Gil S.

    () (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Gang, Ira N.

    () (Rutgers University)

Abstract

We often observe minority ethnic groups at a disadvantage relative to the majority. Why is this and what can be done about it? Efforts made to assimilate, and time, are two elements working to bring the minority into line with the majority. A third element, the degree to which the majority welcomes the minority, also plays a role. We develop a simple theoretical model useful for examining the consequences for assimilation and harassment of growth in the minority population, time, and the role of political institutions. Over time, conflicts develop within the minority group as members exhibit different interests in assimilating and in maintaining their cultural identity. We discuss how this affects the minority’s position over time and the influence of public policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2008. "Ethnicity, Assimilation and Harassment in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 3591, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3591
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
    2. Ira N. Gang & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2000. "Is Child like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 550-569.
    3. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
    4. Rapoport, Hillel & Weiss, Avi, 2003. "The optimal size for a minority," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 27-45, September.
    5. Epstein, Gil S & Gang, Ira, 2004. "Ethnic Networks and International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 4616, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Bhaumik, Sumon Kumar & Gang, Ira N. & Yun, Myeong-Su, 2006. "Ethnic conflict and economic disparity: Serbians and Albanians in Kosovo," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 754-773, December.
    7. Thomas Bauer & Gil Epstein & Ira Gang, 2005. "Enclaves, language, and the location choice of migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(4), pages 649-662, November.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Gil S. Epstein, 2003. "Labor Market Interactions Between Legal and Illegal Immigrants," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 30-43, February.
    11. Kahanec, Martin, 2006. "Ethnic Specialization and Earnings Inequality: Why Being a Minority Hurts but Being a Big Minority Hurts More," IZA Discussion Papers 2050, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    18. Duleep, Harriet & Regets, Mark, 2002. "The Elusive Concept of Immigrant Quality: Evidence from 1970-1990," IZA Discussion Papers 631, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
    20. Anas, Alex, 2002. "Prejudice, exclusion, and compensating transfers: the economics of ethnic segregation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 409-432, November.
    21. Chiswick, Barry R, 1977. "Sons of Immigrants: Are They at an Earnings Disadvantage?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 376-380, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nick Drydakis, 2013. "The effect of ethnic identity on the employment of immigrants," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 285-308, June.
    2. Epstein, Gil S. & Mealem, Yosef, 2010. "Interactions between Local and Migrant Workers at the Workplace," IZA Discussion Papers 5051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2010. "A Political Economy of the Immigrant Assimilation: Internal Dynamics," Working Papers 2010-13, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    4. Epstein, Gil S. & Gafni, Dalit & Siniver, Erez, 2014. "Even Education and Experience Has Its Limits: Closing the Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 8737, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "Migration, Ethnicity and Economic Integration," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume III, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Jain, Sanjay & Majumdar, Sumon & Mukand, Sharun W., 2010. "Workers Without Borders: On Culture and The Politics of Migration," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 19, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. Gil Epstein, 2009. "Willingness to Assimilate and Ethnicity," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 35, pages 1-1.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    networks; harassment; contracts; assimilation; ethnicity; market structure;

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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