June 2007

IZA DP No. 2826: Acculturation Identity and Labor Market Outcomes

revised version version published as 'Acculturation Identity and Employment among Second and Middle Generation Immigrants' in: Journal of Economic Psycology, 2010, 31(1), 35-50

This paper explores the identity formation of a cohort of students with immigrant backgrounds in Sweden and the consequences of identity for subsequent labor market outcomes. Unique for this study is that identity is defined according to a two-dimensional acculturation framework based on both strength of identity to the (ethnic) minority and to the (Swedish) majority culture. Results indicate that what matters for labor market outcomes is strength of identification with the majority culture regardless of strength of (ethnic) minority identity. Labor market outcomes vary little between the assimilated and the integrated who have in common a strong majority identity but varying minority identity. Correlations between identity and labor market outcomes are however, an entirely male phenomenon.