Measuring Ethnic Identity and its Impact on Economic Behaviour

25 Pages Posted: 30 May 2008

See all articles by Amelie F. Constant

Amelie F. Constant

Princeton University; UNU-MERIT; CESifo

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Global Labor Organization (GLO); UNU-MERIT; Maastricht University, Department of Economics; Free University Berlin; University of Bonn; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Journal of Population Economics

Date Written: September 2007

Abstract

The paper advocates for a new measure of the ethnic identity of migrants, models its determinants and explores its explanatory power for various types of their economic performance. The ethnosizer, a measure of the intensity of a person's ethnic identity, is constructed from information on the following elements: language, culture, societal interaction, history of migration, and ethnic self-identification. A two-dimensional concept of the ethnosizer classifies migrants into four states: integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization. The ethnosizer largely depends on pre-migration characteristics. Empirical evidence studying economic behaviour like work participation, earnings and housing decisions demonstrates the significant relevance of ethnic identity for economic outcomes.

Keywords: acculturation, cultural economics, ethnic identity, ethnicity, migrant assimilation, migrant integration, work

JEL Classification: F22, J15, J16, Z10

Suggested Citation

Constant, Amelie F. and Zimmermann, Klaus F., Measuring Ethnic Identity and its Impact on Economic Behaviour (September 2007). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6466, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1138579

Amelie F. Constant (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

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UNU-MERIT ( email )

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Klaus F. Zimmermann

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Bonn
Germany

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UNU-MERIT ( email )

Keizer Karelplein 19
Maastricht, 6211TC
Netherlands

Maastricht University, Department of Economics ( email )

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University of Bonn

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Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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United Kingdom

Journal of Population Economics

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