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Bend It Like Beckham: Ethnic Identity and Integration

  • Alberto Bisin
  • Eleonora Patacchini
  • Thierry Verdier
  • Yves Zenou

We propose a theoretical framework to study the determinants of ethnic and religious identity along two distinct motivational processes which have been proposed in the social sciences: cultural conformity and cultural distinction. Under cultural conformity, ethnic identity is reduced by neighborhood integration, which weakens group loyalties and prejudices. On the contrary, under cultural distinction, ethnic minorities are more motivated in retaining their own distinctive cultural heritage the more integrated are the neighborhoods where they reside and work. Data on ethnic preferences and attitudes provided by the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities in the UK enables us to test the relative significance of these two identity processes. We find evidence consistent with intense ethnic and religious identity mostly formed as a cultural distinction mechanism. Consistently, we document that ethnic identities are more intense in mixed than in segregated neighborhoods.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16465.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16465
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  1. Chiswick, Carmel U., 2006. "The Economic Determinants of Ethnic Assimilation," IZA Discussion Papers 2212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Andreas Kyriacou, 2010. "George A. Akerlof and Rachel E. Kranton: Identity economics. How our identities shape our work, wages, and well-being," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 325-328, October.
  3. Bidner, Chris, 2010. "Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-being, George A. Akerlof, Rachel E. Kranton. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ (2010). 185 and vi pp., $16.47 (hc), ISBN:," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1061-1063, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2007. "Measuring Ethnic Identity and Its Impact on Economic Behaviour," CEPR Discussion Papers 6466, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2011. "Neighborhood Effects And Parental Involvement In The Intergenerational Transmission Of Education," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(5), pages 987-1013, December.
  7. Kaivan Munshi & Nicholas Wilson, 2008. "Identity, Parochial Institutions, and Occupational Choice: Linking the Past to the Present in the American Midwest," NBER Working Papers 13717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alberto Bisin & Giorgio Topa & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Religious Intermarriage and Socialization in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 615-664, June.
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  11. 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.
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  16. Darity, William Jr. & Mason, Patrick L. & Stewart, James B., 2006. "The economics of identity: The origin and persistence of racial identity norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 283-305, July.
  17. Nekby, Lena & Rödin, Magnus, 2010. "Acculturation identity and employment among second and middle generation immigrants," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 35-50, February.
  18. Daniel T. Lichter & J. Brian Brown & Zhenchao Qian & Julie H. Carmalt, 2007. "Marital Assimilation Among Hispanics: Evidence of Declining Cultural and Economic Incorporation?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(3), pages 745-765.
  19. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  21. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2008. "Neighborhoods, Economic Self-Sufficiency, and the MTO Program," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt1nd2t0pw, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  22. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Paul Torelli, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 11334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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