Bend it Like Beckham: Ethnic Identity and Integration
New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics; New York University (NYU) - Center for Experimental Social Science (CESS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Università di Roma "La Sapienza"; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)
Paris School of Economics (PSE); Delta - Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
Stockholm University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8054
We propose a theoretical framework to study the determinants of ethnic and religious identity along two distinct motivational processes which have been proposed in the social sciences: cultural conformity and cultural distinction. Under cultural conformity, ethnic identity is reduced by neighborhood integration, which weakens group loyalties and prejudices. On the contrary, under cultural distinction, ethnic minorities are more motivated in retaining their own distinctive cultural heritage the more integrated are the neighborhoods where they reside and work. Data on ethnic preferences and attitudes provided by the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities in the UK enables us to test the relative significance of these two identity processes. We find evidence consistent with intense ethnic and religious identity mostly formed as a cultural distinction mechanism. Consistently, we document that ethnic identities are more intense in mixed than in segregated neighborhoods.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 46
Keywords: cultural transmission, Ethnicity, identity, intermarriage
JEL Classification: A14, J15
Date posted: November 22, 2010
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