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Immigration Restriction and Long-Run Cultural Assimilation: Theory and Quasi-Experimental Evidence

Fausto Galli () and Giuseppe Russo

CSEF Working Papers from Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy

Abstract: We study the effect of restrictions to immigration on the cultural assimilation of the second generation. Our theoretical model shows that restrictive policies incentivize to permanent immigration individuals with a stronger taste for their original culture. Permanent immigration implies reproduction in the destination country and transmission of cultural traits to the second generation, which will therefore experience a more difficult assimilation. We test this prediction by using the 1973 immigration ban in Germany (Anwerbestopp) as a quasi-experiment, since it only concerned immigrants from countries outside the European Economic Community. Thus, our treatment group is given by the second generation of non-EEC immigrants. Our estimates show that the Anwerbestopp has reduced the cultural assimilation of this generation. This result is robust to several checks, including a triple differences analysis. We conclude that restrictive immigration policies may have unwanted consequences on the process of cultural assimilation.

Keywords: return migration; cultural transmission; difference-in-differences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 F22 J15 K37 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-12-18
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int and nep-mig
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