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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
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of International Economics 2 21(2013): pp. 311-325
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20026
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  1. Danzer, Alexander M. & Ulku, Hulya, 2011. "Integration, Social Networks and Economic Success of Immigrants: A Case Study of the Turkish Community in Berlin," Munich Reprints in Economics 20027, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2005. "Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2071, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  7. Christian Dustmann, 1996. "The social assimilation of immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 37-54, February.
  8. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," IZA Discussion Papers 3006, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 2487, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
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  12. Paolo E. Giordani & Michele Ruta, 2011. "The Immigration Policy Puzzle," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(5), pages 922-935, November.
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  14. 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.
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