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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. Darren Lubotsky, 2007. "Chutes or Ladders? A Longitudinal Analysis of Immigrant Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 820-867, October.
  2. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2009. "Critical Periods During Childhood and Adolescence: A Study of Adult Height Among Immigrant Siblings," IZA Discussion Papers 4140, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Åslund, Olof & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2005. "Will I see you at work? Ethnic workplace segregation in Sweden 1985–2002," Working Paper Series 2005:24, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  5. 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.
  6. Aslund, Olof & Böhlmark, Anders & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "Age at Migration and Social Integration," IZA Discussion Papers 4263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. Sáez-Martí, María & Sjögren, Anna, 2005. "Peers and Culture," Working Paper Series 642, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Nordström Skans, Oskar & Edin, Per-Anders & Holmlund, Bertil, 2006. "Wage dispersion between and within plants: Sweden 1985-2000," Working Paper Series 2006:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  11. Riphahn, Regina T., 2001. "Cohort Effects in the Educational Attainment of Second Generation Immigrants in Germany: An Analysis of Census Data," IZA Discussion Papers 291, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. 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.
  13. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Paul Torelli, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 11334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Clark, Ken & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2007. "Segregation preferences and labour market outcomes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 278-283, February.
  15. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
  16. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2010. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation among US Immigrants," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 165-92, January.
  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. Barth, Erling & Bratsberg, Bernt & Raaum, Oddbjørn, 2003. "Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys," Memorandum 20/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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