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Childhood and Family Experiences and the Social Integration of Young Migrants

  • Olof Åslund


    (Institute for labor market policy evaluation (IFAU), CReAM, IZA and Uppsala University)

  • Anders Böhlmark


    (Institute for social research (SOFI) and CReAM)

  • Oskar Nordström Skans


    (IFAU, IZA and UCLS)

We use sibling variation in age at migration to study how early life exposure to the host country affects social integration in adulthood. Building on a Swedish population-wide dataset, we show that early experiences affect the probability of living close to, working with, and marrying other immigrants. Segregation also decreases with parental time in the host country before the subject’s birth. The effects are permanent and do not arise through differences in education or economic outcomes. Several results instead suggest that social integration is heavily affected by preferences or cultural identities that are set during early, formative, years.

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Paper provided by Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London in its series Norface Discussion Paper Series with number 2012003.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2012003
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  1. Oskar Nordström Skans & Per-Anders Edin & Bertil Holmlund, 2007. "Wage dispersion between and within plants: Sweden 1985-2000," NBER Working Papers 13021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olof Aslund & Anders Bohlmark & Oskar Nordstrom Skans, 2009. "Age at migration and social integration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0927, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Teresa Casey & Christian Dustmann, 2009. "Immigrants' Identity, Economic Outcomes, and the Transmission of Identity across Generations," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0923, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  4. Olof Aslund & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2010. "Will I See You at Work? Ethnic Workplace Segregation in Sweden, 1985-2002," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(3), pages 471-493, April.
  5. Böhlmark, Anders, 2005. "Age at Immigration and School Performance: A Siblings Analysis Using Swedish Register Data," Working Paper Series 6/2005, Swedish Institute for Social Research, revised 10 Dec 2007.
  6. Regina T. Riphahn & Jochen Mayer, 2000. "Fertility assimilation of immigrants: Evidence from count data models," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 241-261.
  7. Regina T. Riphahn, 2003. "Cohort effects in the educational attainment of second generation immigrants in Germany: An analysis of census data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 711-737, November.
  8. Maria Saez-Marti & Anna Sjögren, 2007. "Peers and Culture," IEW - Working Papers 349, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Åslund, Olof & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2007. "How to Measure Segregation Conditional on the Distribution of Covariates," Working Paper Series 2007:27, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  10. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
  11. Lubotsky, D., 2000. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Papers 195, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  12. van Ours, Jan C. & Veenman, Justus, 2006. "Age at immigration and educational attainment of young immigrants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 310-316, March.
  13. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2008. "What Holds Back the Second Generation?: The Intergenerational Transmission of Language Human Capital Among Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 267-298.
  14. Bernt Bratsberg & Erling Barth & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 243-263, May.
  15. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  16. 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.
  17. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2009. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation Among U.S. Immigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0913, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  18. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2012. "Critical Periods during Childhood and Adolescence: A Study of Adult Height among Immigrant Siblings," Working Papers 2012:23, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  19. Chiswick, Barry R. & DebBurman, Noyna, 2003. "Educational Attainment: Analysis by Immigrant Generation," IZA Discussion Papers 731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Battu, Harminder & Zenou, Yves, 2009. "Oppositional Identities and Employment for Ethnic Minorities: Evidence from England," IZA Discussion Papers 4517, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Joseph Schaafsma & Arthur Sweetman, 2001. "Immigrant earnings: age at immigration matters," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1066-1099, November.
  22. Olof Åslund & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2010. "Will I See You at Work? Ethnic Workplace Segregation in Sweden, 1985–2002," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(3), pages 471-493, April.
  23. Gerard J. Berg & Petter Lundborg & Paul Nystedt & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Critical Periods During Childhood And Adolescence," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(6), pages 1521-1557, December.
  24. Clark, Ken & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2007. "Segregation preferences and labour market outcomes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 278-283, February.
  25. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "'Bend It Like Beckham': Identity, Socialization and Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Fryer, Roland & Echenique, Federico, 2007. "A Measure of Segregation Based on Social Interactions," Scholarly Articles 2958220, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  27. Gonzalez, Arturo, 2003. "The education and wages of immigrant children: the impact of age at arrival," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 203-212, April.
  28. Cortes, Kalena E., 2006. "The effects of age at arrival and enclave schools on the academic performance of immigrant children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 121-132, April.
  29. 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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