18/01/2017 MACIMIDE/MiLifeStatus seminar

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Date(s) - 18/01/17
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Grote Gracht 90-92, room D1.08


MACIMIDE/MiLifeStatus Seminar Series 2017/1: Naturalization and immigrant earnings: why, how and for whom does citizenship matter?

Presentation title: Naturalization and immigrant earnings: why, how and for whom does citizenship matter?

Presenter: Floris Peters

The notion that citizenship acquisition matters for the economic integration of immigrants is well established in the literature, but why, how and for whom that is remains surprisingly ambiguous. The citizenship premium is traditionally assumed to result from increased labour market access and positive signaling towards employers, but these mechanisms fail to explain increased earnings derived from paid employment, which has been the predominant focus in most studies. We argue that naturalization needs to be understood in the context of the life course, as immigrants anticipate potential rewards and opportunities of citizenship acquisition by investing in their own human capital development. In as far as naturalization leads to higher earnings, we expect that this citizenship premium mostly reflects better employment opportunities rather than access to better paying jobs. Investment in relevant human capital in anticipation of citizenship acquisition particularly matters early in the settlement process, when migrants are securing access to the labour market. Moreover, positive signaling of citizenship matters most for unemployed migrants, since the current occupation of employed individuals has a positive signaling effect in its own right. As such, citizenship acquisition particularly increases labour market opportunities for unemployed migrants, and we expect that these migrants will therefore be most interested to invest in themselves to make use of these opportunities after naturalization. To test these assumptions, we make use of high-quality register data from Statistics Netherlands, covering the period between 1999 and 2011. These data contain almost all registered foreign-born individuals in the Netherlands, and allow us to track the citizenship status and labour market performance of immigrant cohorts over time.

About the The MACIMIDE/MiLifeStatus seminar series:

The MACIMIDE/MiLifeStatus seminar series is part of the ERC-project ‘Migrant Life Course and Legal Status Transition’ led by prof. Maarten Vink (2016-2021) and is organised in cooperation with the Maastricht Center for Citizenship, Migration and Development.

For more information about the MiLifeStatus project, see: https://macimide.maastrichtuniversity.nl/milifestatus/