Catalyst or Crown: Does Naturalization Promote the Long-Term Social Integration of Immigrants?

72 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2016 Last revised: 1 Jun 2017

Jens Hainmueller

Stanford University - Department of Political Science; Stanford Graduate School of Business; Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

Dominik Hangartner

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

Giuseppe Pietrantuono

University of Mannheim - Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 1, 2016

Abstract

We study the impact of naturalization on the long-term social integration of immigrants into the host country society. Despite ongoing debates about citizenship policy, we lack reliable evidence that isolates the causal effect of naturalization from the non-random selection into naturalization. We exploit the quasi-random assignment of citizenship in Swiss municipalities that used referendums to decide on naturalization applications of immigrants. Comparing otherwise similar immigrants who narrowly won or narrowly lost their naturalization referendums, we find that receiving Swiss citizenship strongly improved long-term social integration. We also find that the integration returns to naturalization are much larger for more marginalized immigrant groups and somewhat larger when naturalization occurs earlier, rather than later in the residency period. Overall, our findings support the policy paradigm arguing that naturalization is a catalyst for improving the social integration of immigrants rather than merely the crown on the completed integration process.

Suggested Citation

Hainmueller, Jens and Hangartner, Dominik and Pietrantuono, Giuseppe, Catalyst or Crown: Does Naturalization Promote the Long-Term Social Integration of Immigrants? (November 1, 2016). American Political Science Review, Forthcoming; Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 16-37; Stanford-Zurich Immigration Policy Lab Working Paper No. 16-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2812706 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2812706

Jens Hainmueller

Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~jhain/

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Dominik Hangartner (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Departments of Government and Methodology
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Stanford Immigration Policy Lab

30 Alta Road
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Giuseppe Pietrantuono

University of Mannheim - Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences ( email )

D7, 27
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

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