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Investment in Identity in the Field - Nudging Refugees' Integration Effort

Author

Listed:
  • Nora Grote

    (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)

  • Tim Klausmann

    (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)

  • Mario Scharfbillig

    (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)

Abstract

Social identity greatly affects behavior. However, less is known about an individual's investment in identification, i.e., in belonging to a social group. Using a language-learning platform utilized by refugees to learn the host country's language, we design a field experiment that allows us to make effort as an investment in a new group identity salient. The social identity in our treatment is a refugee's identification with the host society. We modified a mailing to 5600 refugees who use an online language-learning platform to learn the host country's language. These treatment emails make salient that improving the host country's language ability increases the belonging to the host society. Our analysis reveals that the treatment has a significant positive effect on the effort exerted on the language-learning platform, leading to more completed exercises and more time spent learning the host country's language. This suggests that refugees invest in becoming part of the host country's society for its social identity component. Our findings can inform policy considerations on the use of nudges for other integration measures intended for refugees and immigrants in general.

Suggested Citation

  • Nora Grote & Tim Klausmann & Mario Scharfbillig, 2019. "Investment in Identity in the Field - Nudging Refugees' Integration Effort," Working Papers 1905, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 24 Sep 2021.
  • Handle: RePEc:jgu:wpaper:1905
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    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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