Migration and Cultural Change

64 Pages Posted: 20 May 2022

See all articles by Hillel Rapoport

Hillel Rapoport

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Sulin Sardoschau

Humboldt University - Department of Economics

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We propose a novel perspective on migration and cultural change by asking both theoretically and empirically – and from a global viewpoint – whether migration is a source of cultural convergence or divergence between home and host countries. Our theoretical model derives distinctive testable predictions as to the sign and direction ofconvergence for various compositional and cultural diffusion mechanisms. We use the World Value Survey for 1981-2014 to build time-varying measures of cultural similarity for a large number of country pairs and exploit within country-pair variation over time. Our results support migration-based cultural convergence, with cultural remittances as its main driver. In other words and in contrast to the populist narrative, we find that while immigrants do act as vectors of cultural diffusion, this is mostly to export the host country culture back home.

Keywords: migration, cultural change, globalization

JEL Classification: F22, O15, Z10

Suggested Citation

Rapoport, Hillel and Sardoschau, Sulin, Migration and Cultural Change. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14772, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4114309 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4114309

Hillel Rapoport (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014

Sulin Sardoschau

Humboldt University - Department of Economics ( email )

Unter den Linden 6
Berlin, AK Berlin 10099

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/sulinsardoschau/home

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