Earlier studies do not agree on whether ethnic identity, i.e., immigrants’ attachment to the home country and the host country, can explain lower employment outcomes among immigrants. This study investigates the relationship between employment and ethnic identity and complements the literature by capturing a novel dimension of ethnic identity: openness to majority norms. Reproducing measures from earlier studies, I find that immigrants’ employment outcomes do not systematically associate with their ethnic identity. However, immigrants who share social norms with the majority experience significantly better employment outcomes; particularly first-generation immigrant women. Furthermore, I show that interethnic differentials in majority norms could account for up to 20% of the explained part of the employment gap between natives and first-generation immigrants. Those results shed more light on the interethnic employment gap and aspects of immigrants’ identity relevant to economic integration.
Journal of Population Economics, 2014, Vol 27, Issue 1, p. 225-250
ethnic identity; employment gap; Integration; social norms; acculturation; assimilation; Labour market; Ethnic minorities