Discussion paper

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

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.


Verdier, T, Y Zenou, A Bisin and E Patacchini (2011), ‘DP8212 Ethnic Identity and Labor-Market Outcomes of Immigrants in Europe‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 8212. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp8212