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Immigration Restriction and Long-Run Cultural Assimilation: Theory and Quasi-Experimental Evidence

We study the effect of restrictions to immigration on the cultural assimilation of the second generation. Our theoretical model shows that restrictive policies incentivize to permanent immigration individuals with a stronger taste for their original culture. Permanent immigration implies reproduction in the destination country and transmission of cultural traits to the second generation, which will therefore experience a more difficult assimilation. We test this prediction by using the 1973 immigration ban in Germany (Anwerbestopp) as a quasi-experiment, since it only concerned immigrants from countries outside the European Economic Community. Thus, our treatment group is given by the second generation of non-EEC immigrants. Our estimates show that the Anwerbestopp has reduced the cultural assimilation of this generation. This result is robust to several checks, including a triple differences analysis. We conclude that restrictive immigration policies may have unwanted consequences on the process of cultural assimilation.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 349.

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Date of creation: 18 Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:349
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  1. Constant, Amelie & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2006. "Ethnosizing Immigrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 5636, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Borjas, George J, 1993. "The Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 113-35, January.
  3. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot : Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," DELTA Working Papers 1999-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  4. Yannis M. Ioannides & Giulio Zanella, 2008. "Searching for the Best Neighborhood: Mobility and Social Interactions," Department of Economics University of Siena 533, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  5. Michel BEINE & Christopher PARSONS, 2012. "Climatic factors as determinants of International Migration," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012002, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  6. Gil S. Epstein, 2006. "Extremism within the family," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0606, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  7. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  8. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2000. "The Optimal Migration Duration and Activity Choice after Re-migration," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 00-39, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  9. Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
  10. Christian Dustmann, 1996. "The social assimilation of immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 37-54, February.
  11. Laura Jaitman & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Crime and Immigration: New Evidence from England and Wales," CEP Discussion Papers dp1238, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
  13. Drabo, Alassane & Mbaye, Linguère Mously, 2011. "Climate Change, Natural Disasters and Migration: An Empirical Analysis in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 5927, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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