Should Immigrants Culturally Assimilate or Preserve Their Own Culture? Individual Beliefs and the Longevity of National Identity
Peter Grajzl (),
Jonathan Eastwood and
Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl ()
No 6470, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich
We develop and empirically test a theory concerning individual beliefs about whether immigrants should culturally assimilate into the host society or preserve their own cultural norms. We argue that when national identity is a source of intrinsic utility, the longevity of national identity influences a national identityâ€™s perceived resilience to an ostensible immigrant threat and, thus, affects individualsâ€™ beliefs about the need for immigrantsâ€™ cultural assimilation. Empirical evidence based on data from countries of wider Europe supports our theory. An expert survey-based measure of the longevity of national identity, first, exhibits a robustly negative effect on the strength of individual preferences in favor of immigrantsâ€™ cultural assimilation and, second, is an important contextual moderating variable that shapes the effect of individual-level characteristics on their beliefs. Thus, individual beliefs about the necessity of immigrantsâ€™ cultural assimilation versus accommodation of cultural diversity reflect a historically-rooted sense of national identity.
Keywords: cultural assimilation; immigrants; individual beliefs; national identity; longevity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z13 J18 D72 P51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-mig and nep-soc
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