April 2009

IZA DP No. 4115: Economic and Cultural Gaps among Foreign-born Minorities in Spain

published as 'Cultural Integration in Spain' in: Algan, Bisin, Manning and Verdier (eds), Cultural Integration of Immigrants in Europe, Oxford University Press, 2012, 148-171

This paper compares the economic and cultural gaps of the largest foreign-born ethnic minorities in Spain: Latinos, Eastern Europeans, Moroccans and individuals from Other Muslim countries. We focus on several outcomes: the gender education gap, early marriage, inter-ethnic marriage, fertility, female employment, command of Spanish, and social participation. Our results suggest that Latinos are the group with patterns of behavior closest to those of natives, followed by Eastern Europeans. In several dimensions, such as the marriage penalty for females, Moroccans and individuals from Other Muslim countries are the groups with larger gaps relative to natives. Our results also show large improvements in the educational attainment of younger Moroccan cohorts, which is an important determinant of the outcomes we have analyzed.