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Intermarriage, Language, and Economic Assimilation Process: A Case Study of France

31 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2006  

Xin Meng

Australian National University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Dominique Meurs

University of Paris II Pantheon-Assas - ERMES

Date Written: November 2006

Abstract

Lack of economic assimilation of immigrants often results in social and political unrest of a society. The increased desire to understand better the nature of the assimilation process of immigrants is due to increased immigration flows in many western countries. In this paper we try to study the role of intermarriage in the process of immigrant economic assimilation in France. We find that among all immigrants those who are intermarried earn around 17 percent more than those who are endogamously married. Once taking into account individual characteristics and endogeneity of intermarriage, the premium is around 25 to 35 percent. In addition, the intermarriage premium is substantially higher for individuals who have better grasp of French language before migration than for those whose language skill is poor. This result seems to suggest that, perhaps, immigrants who have a strong base in the native language can better reap the gain from intermarriage.

Keywords: immigration, economic assimilation, intermarriage

JEL Classification: J61, J12

Suggested Citation

Meng, Xin and Meurs, Dominique, Intermarriage, Language, and Economic Assimilation Process: A Case Study of France (November 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2461. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=949171

Xin Meng (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

Research School of Economics
College of Business and Economics
Canberra ACT 0200
Australia
+61 26249 3102 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Dominique Meurs

University of Paris II Pantheon-Assas - ERMES ( email )

12 Place du Panthéon
Paris, Cedex 5, 75005
France

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