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