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Ethnic Spatial Dispersion and Immigrant Identity

  • Constant, Amelie F.

    ()

    (Temple University)

  • Schüller, Simone

    ()

    (CESifo)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

Ethnic groups tend to agglomerate and assemble, mostly in urban areas. While ethnic clustering is critically debated in societies and the consequences for economic outcomes are under debate in research, the process is not yet well understood. A separate literature has also examined the cultural and ethnic identity of immigrants and how these affect their economic performance and societal integration. However, an unexplored channel connects ethnic clustering with ethnic identity formation. Therefore this paper examines the role of ethnic geographic clustering in the sociocultural integration of immigrants. It employs survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, combined with disaggregated information at a low geographical level from the unexploited German full census of 1970 and 1987. We employ the exogenous placement of immigrants during their recruitment in the 1960s and 1970s and find that local co-ethnic concentration affects immigrants' cultural integration. Residential ethnic clustering strengthens immigrants' retention of an affiliation with their respective country of origin and weakens identification with the host society. The effects are nonlinear and only become significant at relatively high levels of co-ethnic concentration for the minority identity and at very low levels of local concentration for the majority identity. Our findings are robust to the use of an instrumental variable approach.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7868.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7868
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  1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2007. "When Are Ghettos Bad? Lessons from Immigrant Segregation in the United States," NBER Working Papers 13082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Work and Money: Payoffs by Ethnic Identity and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 4275, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and Persistence of Oppositional Identities," Research Papers in Economics 2011:16, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  4. Timothy J. Hatton & Andrew Leigh, 2007. "Immigrants Assimilate as Communities, not just as Individuals," CEPR Discussion Papers 547, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Constant, Amelie F. & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2006. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 2040, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Danzer, Alexander M. & Yaman, Firat, 2013. "Do ethnic enclaves impede immigrants’ integration? Evidence from a quasi-experimental social-interaction approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 20026, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Damm, Anna Piil, 2006. "Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Labour Market Outcomes: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 06-4, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  8. Alexander M. Danzer & Firat Yaman, 2010. "Ethnic Concentration and Language Fluency of Immigrants in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 277, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  9. Harminder Battu & Yves Zenou, 2010. "Oppositional Identities and Employment for Ethnic Minorities: Evidence from England," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(542), pages F52-F71, 02.
  10. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Paper Series 2000:21, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  11. Akay, Alpaslan & Constant, Amelie F. & Giulietti, Corrado, 2012. "The Impact of Immigration on the Well-Being of Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 6630, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 1999. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," JCPR Working Papers 62, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  13. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  14. Zimmermann, Laura V & Gataullina, Liliya & Constant, Amelie F. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2006. "Human Capital and Ethnic Self-Identification of Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 2300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-872.
  16. George J. Borjas, 1997. "To Ghetto or Not to Ghetto: Ethnicity and Residential Segregation," NBER Working Papers 6176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. E. Paul Durrenberger, 2005. "Labour," Chapters, in: A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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