Immigrants assimilate as communities, not just as individuals

Timothy Hatton, Andrew Leigh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The literature on the economic assimilation of immigrants generally treats them as atomistic individuals assimilating in a largely anonymous labour market. Here, we argue that immigrants assimilate as communities, not only as individuals. The longer the immigrant community has been established, the better adjusted it becomes, and the more the host society comes to accept that ethnic group. Using data from a 5% sample of the 1980, 1990 and 2000 US censuses, we find that the stronger is the tradition of immigration from a given source region, the better are the economic outcomes for subsequent immigrants from that source.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)389-419
    JournalJournal of Population Economics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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