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Do ethnic enclaves impede immigrants’ integration? Evidence from a quasi-experimental social-interaction approach

  • Danzer, Alexander M.
  • Yaman, Firat

It is widely debated whether immigrants who live among co-ethnics are less willing to integrate into the host society. Exploiting the quasi-experimental guest worker placement across German regions during the 1960/70s as well as information on immigrants’ inter-ethnic contact networks and social activities, we are able to identify the causal effect of ethnic concentration on social integration. The exogenous placement of immigrants ’switches off’ observable and unobservable differences in the willingness or ability to integrate which have confounded previous studies. Evidence suggests that the presence of co-ethnics increases migrants’ interaction cost with natives and thus reduces the likelihood of integration.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 20026.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Publication status: Published in Review of International Economics 2 21(2013): pp. 311-325
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20026
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  1. Bauer, Thomas K. & Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2002. "Enclaves, Language and the Location Choice of Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 558, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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