Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics,
Stockholm University, Department of Economics

No 2011:2: Ethnic Identity and Labor-Market Outcomes of Immigrants in Europe

Alberto Bisin (), Eleonora Patacchini (), Thierry Verdier () and Yves Zenou ()
Additional contact information
Alberto Bisin: New York University, Postal: Department of Economics, New York University, 19 West Fourth Street, New York, NY 10012, USA.
Eleonora Patacchini: La Sapienza University of Rome, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) and CEPR., Postal: La Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Economics, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
Thierry Verdier: Paris School of Economics (PSE) and CEPR, Postal: Paris School of Economics, 48 Bb. Jourdan, 75014 Paris, France
Yves Zenou: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We study the relationship between ethnic identity and labor-market outcomes of non-EU immigrants in Europe. Using the European Social Survey, we find that there is a penalty to be paid for immigrants with a strong identity. Being a first generation immigrant leads to a penalty of about 17 percent while second-generation immigrants have a probability of being employed that is not statistically different from that of natives. However, when they have a strong identity, second-generation immigrants have a lower chance of finding a job than natives. Our analysis also reveals that the relationship between ethnic identity and employment prospects may depend on the type of integration and labor-market policies implemented in the country where the immigrant lives. More flexible labor markets help immigrants to access the labor market but do not protect those who have a strong ethnic identity.

Keywords: First and second-generation immigrants; assimilation; integration policies

JEL-codes: F22; J15; J61

32 pages, January 18, 2011

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