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Immigration restrictions and second-generation cultural assimilation: theory and quasi-experimental evidence

Fausto Galli () and Giuseppe Russo
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Fausto Galli: Universita’ di Salerno

Journal of Population Economics, 2019, vol. 32, issue 1, No 2, 23-51

Abstract: Abstract We study the effects of immigration restrictions on the cultural assimilation of second-generation migrants. In our theoretical model, when mobility is free, individuals with a stronger taste for their native culture migrate temporarily. When immigration is restricted, however, these individuals are incentivized to relocate permanently. Permanent emigrants procreate in the destination country and convey their cultural traits to the second generation, who will therefore find assimilation harder. We test this prediction by using the 1973 immigration ban in Germany (Anwerbestopp) as a quasi-experiment. Since the ban only concerned immigrants from countries outside the European Economic Community, they act as a treatment group. According to our estimates, the Anwerbestopp has reduced the cultural assimilation of the second generation. This result demonstrated robustness to several checks. We conclude that restrictive immigration policies may have the unintended consequence of delaying the intergenerational process of cultural assimilation.

Keywords: Second-generation immigration; Intergenerational assimilation; Cultural transmission; Social and economic stratification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 F22 J15 K37 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s00148-018-0694-z

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