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Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) Working Paper Series

No 649:
Oppositional Identities and the Labor Market

Harminder Battu, McDonald Mwale and Yves Zenou ()

Abstract: We develop a model in which non-white individuals are defined with respect to their social environment (family, friends, neighbors) and their attachments to their culture of origin (religion, language), and in which jobs are mainly found through social networks. We find that, depending on how strong peer pressures are, non-whites choose to adopt "oppositional" identities since some individuals may identify with the dominant culture and others may reject that culture, even if it implies adverse labor market outcomes.

Keywords: Ethnic Minorities; Identity; Social Networks; White's Norm; Multiple Equilibria; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: A14; J15; (follow links to similar papers)

37 pages, October 19, 2005

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