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Immigrant Assimilation, Trust and Social Capital

Author

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  • Cox, James C.

    () (Georgia State University)

  • Orman, Wafa Hakim

    () (University of Alabama in Huntsville)

Abstract

Trust is a crucial component of social capital. We use an experimental moonlighting game with a representative sample of the U.S. population, oversampling immigrants, to study trust, positive, and negative reciprocity between first-generation immigrants and native-born Americans as a measure of immigrant assimilation. We also survey subjects in order to relate trusting and trustworthy behavior with demographic characteristics and traditional, survey-based measures of social capital. We find that immigrants are as trusting as native-born U.S. citizens when faced with another native-born citizen, but do not trust other immigrants. Immigrants appear to be less trustworthy overall but this finding disappears when we control for demographic variables and the amount sent by the first mover. The length of time an immigrant has been a naturalized U.S. citizen appears to increase trustworthiness but does not affect trusting behavior. Women and older people are less likely to trust, but no more or less trustworthy.

Suggested Citation

  • Cox, James C. & Orman, Wafa Hakim, 2010. "Immigrant Assimilation, Trust and Social Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 5063, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5063
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. MICHAEL R. CARTER & Marco Castillo, 2002. "The Economic Impacts of Altruism, Trust and Reciprocity: An Experimental Approach to Social Capital," Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Staff Papers 448, Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Department.
    2. Simon Gächter & Elke Renner, 2010. "The effects of (incentivized) belief elicitation in public goods experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, pages 364-377.
    3. Abbink, Klaus & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Renner, Elke, 2000. "The moonlighting game: An experimental study on reciprocity and retribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 265-277, June.
    4. Ananish Chaudhuri & Lata Gangadharan, 2007. "An Experimental Analysis of Trust and Trustworthiness," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 959-985, April.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Measuring Beliefs in an Experimental Lost Wallet Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 163-182, February.
    7. Grootaert Grootaert & Deepa Narayan & Veronica Nyhan Jones & Michael Woolcock, 2004. "Measuring Social Capital : An Integrated Questionnaire," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15033.
    8. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amelie F. Constant & Annabelle Krause & Ulf Rinne & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "Economic preferences and attitudes of the unemployed: Are natives and second generation migrants alike?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(7), pages 825-851, October.
    2. Cameron, Lisa & Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata & Zhang, Marina, 2015. "Cultural integration: Experimental evidence of convergence in immigrants’ preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 38-58.
    3. Chen, Yan & Li, Sherry Xin & Liu, Tracy Xiao & Shih, Margaret, 2014. "Which hat to wear? Impact of natural identities on coordination and cooperation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 58-86.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    moonlighting game; trust; reciprocity; immigration; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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