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Anticipating naturalization: a life course perspective

on the citizenship premium


Floris Peters

Presentation School of Governance / UNU-Merit. Maastricht, 20 January 2016

Naturalization & socio-economic integration


Paper on the potential relationship between
citizenship acquisition and labour market integration.
Part of a PhD-project on the relevance of citizenship
for the socio-economic and socio-cultural integration
of first generation immigrants.

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Literature overview
How might citizenship improve the labour market
integration of immigrants?
Increased labour market access
Reduced administrative costs
Signaling

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Literature overview
Early research indeed reveals a positive relationship
between citizenship and labour market integration.
Naturalized migrants perform better on the labour
market than their non-naturalized counterparts.

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Literature overview
Issues of causality and self-selection.
Comparison between the labour market
performance before and after the moment of
naturalization.

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Literature overview
So is there no citizenship premium [only selection]?
Empirical ambiguity

The focus of our paper: to whom and under which


conditions does citizenship matter?
Further development of the theoretical framework in
order to explain ambiguous findings in the literature.

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Anticipating citizenship
The traditional mechanisms underlying the
citizenship premium focus almost exclusively on
factors other than migrants themselves.
Migrants are rational actors who make calculated
decisions.

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Anticipating citizenship
Citizenship acquisition does not simply happen, but
stems from a conscious, meaningful decision.
The decision to naturalize is part of a more
fundamental life course decision to stay and build up
a life in the host country.

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Citizenship acquisition and age at migration


100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%

10%
0%
15-17 year

18-24 year

25-34 year

35-44 year
Naturalized

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45-54 year

55-64 year

65-74 year

> 74 year

Not naturalized

Citizenship acquisition and partner status


100%

90%

80%

70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%
No partner

Native Dutch partner


Series1

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Foreign born foreign partner

Foreign born Dutch partner

Series2

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Citizenship acquisition and economic


development country of origin
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%

40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
First quartile

Second quartile
Naturalized

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Thrid quartile

Fourth quartile

Not naturalized

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Anticipating citizenship
The envisioned life course of migrants who intend to
naturalize provides a stronger incentive to invest in
host-country specific knowledge and skills, than for
migrants who have no such intention.
Migrants who choose to naturalize should integrate
faster than their counterparts from that decision
onward, in anticipation of the oppertunities that
citizenship wil offer.
This anticipation effect occurs prior to the moment
of naturalization.
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Anticipating citizenship
Therefore, the employability of immigrants should
also increase before the moment of naturalization.

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Anticipating citizenship
Citizenship policies are formulated in accordance to
this notion.

Citizenship as the reward of successful integration


implies that a migrant who naturalizes deserves to
do so because of accumulated knowledge and skills.
The socio-economic integration of immigrants should
therefore increase already prior to naturalization.

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Data
Focus on the Netherlands: Longitudinal register data from
Statistics Netherlands based on:
Municipal Population Registers
Dutch Social Statistical Database
Information from the tax authorities
Register data allows for great mass (N = 125 560) and high
level of detail (Observations = 935 326).
Focus on first generation immigrants from migration cohorts
1996-2002, tracked over a period of approximately 10 years.
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Data
Dependent variable: having paid employment (dichotomous).
Employed: migrants who are employed or self employed.
Not employed: migrants who are seeking employment or are
inactive on the labour market by choice (i.e. housewives or
migrants demotivated by negative experiences).
Excluded: migrants who are inactive on the labour market,
such as students, retirees, the disabled etc.
Focus on migrants between 20 and 50 years old at the
moment of migration.
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Data
Naturalization measured categorically:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)

No naturalization (reference group)


> 1 year prior to naturalization
1 year prior to naturalization
Year of naturalization
1 year after naturalization
2 years after naturalization
3 years after naturalization
> 3 years after naturalization

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Methods
Logistic fixed-effects regression.
Random-intercept.
Control for time-invariant heterogeneity between
individuals.

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Analysis I: naturalization and paid employment


(men)

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Analysis II: naturalization and paid employment


(men), with co-variates

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Analysis III: naturalization and paid employment


(women), with covariates

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Conclusion
Migrants who acquire citizenship of the destination country
have a higher chance of having paid employment.

However, the citizenship premium particularly manifests


the year prior to naturalization.
As such, citizenship is not simply a ticket to successful
labour market integration, but rather part of a more
fundamental life course decision to build up a life in the
host country.

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Conclusion
Furthermore, there are interesting differences between
men and women.

The citizenship premium is slightly more pronounced for


male immigrants.
Particularly the relevance of the partner differs between
genders. Whereas having a partner increases the chances
of having paid employment for men, this is much less the
case for women.

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