DP8212 Ethnic Identity and Labor-Market Outcomes of Immigrants in Europe

Author(s): Alberto Bisin, Eleonora Patacchini, Thierry Verdier, Yves Zenou
Publication Date: January 2011
Keyword(s): ethnic identity, first- and second-generation immigrants, integration policies, religion
JEL(s): A14, J15, J18, Z19
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Public Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=8212

Using data from the European Social Survey on most European countries, we look at the relationship between ethnic identity and employment prospects for immigrants from non-European countries. We find that a strong attachment to religion is associated with a lower probability of being employed. When we differentiate between first and second generations of immigrants, our evidence reveals signs of a cultural and economic integration of immigrants in Europe. However, when an extreme ethnic sentiment is preserved, the employment penalty is amplified. Our results also suggest that the strength of a person’s ethnic identity and its relationship with employment prospects may depend on the type of integration policy performed in the country where the immigrant lives. In particular, labor-market policies and family-reunion policies seem to facilitate the labor-market access to immigrants coming from non-European countries.