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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. Casey Warman, 2007. "Ethnic enclaves and immigrant earnings growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 401-422, May.
  2. 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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  7. Dustmann, Christian, 1994. "Speaking Fluency, Writing Fluency and Earnings of Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 133-56.
  8. 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.
  9. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2008. "Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 478-497, August.
  10. Giordani, Paolo & Ruta, Michele, 2009. "The Immigration Policy Puzzle," MPRA Paper 23584, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Alberto Bisin & Eleonora Patacchini & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2008. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 445-456, 04-05.
  12. Thomas Bauer & Gil Epstein & Ira Gang, 2005. "Enclaves, language, and the location choice of migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 649-662, November.
  13. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
  14. Alexander M. Danzer & Hulya Ulku, 2011. "Integration, Social Networks and Economic Success of Immigrants: A Case Study of the Turkish Community in Berlin," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 342-365, 08.
  15. Alan Manning & Sanchari Roy, 2010. "Culture Clash or Culture Club? National Identity in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(542), pages F72-F100, 02.
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