Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Social Networks and (Political) Assimilation in the Age of Mass Migration

Author(s): Costanza Biavaschi, Corrado Giulietti and Yves Zenou

Publication Date: May 2021

Keyword(s): Assimilation, migration, Naturalization and Social Networks

Programme Area(s): Economic History and Public Economics

Abstract: This paper investigates the pathways through which immigrant communities (social networks) influence individual naturalization. Specifically, we examine the impact that a fraction of naturalized co-ethnics, residing in the same block as a new immigrant in New York City in 1930, have on the probability of said immigrant becoming a U.S. citizen in 1940. Our results indicate that the concentration of naturalized co-ethnics residing in the block positively predicts individual naturalization and that this relationship operates through one main channel: information dissemination. Indeed, immigrants who live among naturalized co-ethnics are more likely to naturalize because they have greater access to critical information about the benefits and procedures of naturalization.

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Bibliographic Reference

Biavaschi, C, Giulietti, C and Zenou, Y. 2021. 'Social Networks and (Political) Assimilation in the Age of Mass Migration'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.