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The social assimilation of immigrants

  • de Palo, Domenico
  • Faini, Riccardo
  • Venturini, Alessandra

The aim of this paper on the social assimilation of immigrants is to take a close look at migrants'social integration into the host country. The authors rely on the European Community Household panel (ECHP), which devotes a full module to the role and relevance of social relations for both migrants and natives. An innovative feature of this analysis is that it relies on migrants perceptions about their integration rather than - as is typically the case in most opinion surveys - on natives attitudes toward migrants. The main results of the paper can be summarized as follows. First, migrants - particularly from non-EU origins - are at a disadvantage in the fields of social relations. Even after controlling for their individual characteristics, such as age, education, family size, and employment status, they tend to socialize less than natives. Second, migrants tend to converge, albeit quite slowly, to the standard of natives. This finding highlights the risks of short term migration, where migrants tend to be constantly marginalized. Third, education has a significant impact on the type of social activities that individuals undertake. More educated people tend to relate somewhat less with their close neighborhood, but quite intensively with the broader community. The implication for policy makers concerned about the creation of ethnic enclaves is to promote education among immigrants'community.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 38578.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:38578
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  1. Anna Maria Mayda, 2004. "Who is Against Immigration? A Cross-Country Investigation of Individual Attitudes toward Immigrants," Development Working Papers 187, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  2. Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.
  3. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  4. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521029018 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Durlauf,S.N., 2001. "On the empirics of social capital," Working papers 3, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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