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A social proximity explanation of the reluctance to assimilate

  • Fan, C. Simon
  • Stark, Oded

Quite often, migrants appear to exert little effort to absorb the mainstream culture and to learn the language of their host society, even though the economic returns (increased productivity and enhanced earnings) to assimilation are high. We show that when interpersonal comparisons affect individuals’ wellbeing and when a more intensive assimilation results in migrants’ comparing themselves more with the richer natives and less with fellow migrants, then the effort extended to assimilate will be muted.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/30940/1/MPRA_paper_30940.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 30940.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Kyklos 1.60(2007): pp. 55-63
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30940
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Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

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  1. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Culture and Language," NBER Working Papers 5249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christine Eibner & William N. Evans, 2005. "Relative Deprivation, Poor Health Habits, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
  3. Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," Working Paper Series rwp04-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Borjas, George J & Bronars, Stephen G & Trejo, Stephen J, 1992. "Assimilation and the Earnings of Young Internal Migrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 170-75, February.
  5. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  6. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  7. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-24, May.
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