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Acculturational homophily

Dafeng Xu

Economics of Education Review, 2017, vol. 59, issue C, 29-42

Abstract: Economists have long recognized the influence of friends on various outcomes among immigrants, and also observed the benefit of acculturation. This paper lies at the intersection of the above two topics: by focusing on a typical behavior of acculturation, namely English-name usage, I examine the extent of acculturational homophily among Chinese students. Specifically, I investigate the relationship between self English-name usage and English-name usage of close friends using online social networking data on students who receive undergraduate education in China and graduate education in the U.S. The empirical analysis relies on an instrumental variable strategy: I use the indicator of the difficulty of pronouncing the Chinese name in English to instrument for English-name usage. Results suggest the presence of acculturational homophily: students with English-name usage have more close friends who are also English-name users, and the relationship is not based on the number of close friends overall.

Keywords: Acculturation; Homophily; Migration; International students; Language; Name (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I2 J1 Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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