DP16182 Social Networks and (Political) Assimilation in the Age of Mass Migration

Author(s): Costanza Biavaschi, Corrado Giulietti, Yves Zenou
Publication Date: May 2021
Keyword(s): Assimilation, migration, Naturalization, Social Networks
JEL(s): J61, J62, N32, Z1
Programme Areas: Public Economics, Economic History
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16182

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.