Migration and Citizenship
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Can leveraging family history reduce xenophobia? Building on theories of group identity, we show that a family history of forced relocation leaves an imprint on future generations and can be activated to increase sympathy toward refugees. We provide evidence from Greece and Germany, two countries that vividly felt the European refugee crisis, and that witnessed large-scale forced displacement of their own populations during the twentieth century. Combining historical and survey data with an experimental manipulation, we show that mentioning the parallels between past and present differentially increases pledged monetary donations and attitudinal measures of sympathy for refugees among respondents with forcibly displaced ancestors. This differential effect is also present among respondents without a family history of forced migration who live in places with high historical concentration of refugees. Our findings highlight the role of identity and shared experience for reducing out-group discrimination.

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Evidence from the European Refugee Crisis
Authors
Elisa Dinas
Vicky Fouka
Alain Schläpfer
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Each year the United States resettles thousands of refugees in pre-determined locations across the country. However, refugees are free to relocate upon arrival. Although this secondary migration can fundamentally alter outcomes for both refugees and the communities that host them, policymakers lack systematic data on this phenomenon. Using novel administrative data covering all adult refugees resettled between 2000 and 2014 (N≈447,000), we provide a comprehensive analysis of secondary migration patterns. A high proportion of refugees leave their initial resettlement site and migrate to a different state, although rates vary widely by origin, family ties, and arrival state. Importantly, secondary migration is driven primarily by the presence of co-ethnic networks and labor market considerations. We find no evidence that patterns of secondary migration are driven by state partisanship and the generosity of welfare benefits.

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Authors
Nadwa Mossad
Jeremy Ferwerda
Duncan Lawrence
Jeremy M. Weinstein
Jens Hainmueller
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We provide evidence that citizenship catalyzes the long-term economic integration of immigrants. Despite the relevance of citizenship policy to immigrant integration, we lack a reliable understanding of the economic consequences of acquiring citizenship. To overcome nonrandom selection into naturalization, we exploit the quasi-random assignment of citizenship in Swiss municipalities that held referendums to decide the outcome of individual naturalization applications. Our data combine individual-level referendum results with detailed social security records from the Swiss authorities. This approach allows us to compare the long-term earnings of otherwise similar immigrants who barely won or lost their referendum. We find that winning Swiss citizenship in the referendum increased annual earnings by an average of approximately 5000 U.S. dollars over the subsequent 15 years. This effect is concentrated among more marginalized immigrants.

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Science Advances
Authors
Jens Hainmueller
Dominik Hangartner
Dalston Ward
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How does the appearance of a new immigrant group affect the integration of earlier generations of migrants? We study this question in the context of the first Great Migration (1915-1930), when 1.5 million African Americans moved from the US South to northern urban centers, where 30 million Europeans had arrived since 1850. We exploit plausibly exogenous variation induced by the interaction between 1900 settlements of southern-born blacks in northern cities and state-level out-migration from the US South after 1910. Black arrivals increased both the effort exerted by immigrants to assimilate and their eventual Americanization. These average effects mask substantial heterogeneity: while initially less integrated groups (i.e. Southern and Eastern Europeans) exerted more assimilation effort, assimilation success was larger for those culturally closer to native whites (i.e. Western and Northern Europeans). We show that these patterns cannot be entirely explained by economic forces. Our findings are instead more consistent with a framework in which changing perceptions of outgroup distance among the majority group lower the barriers to the assimilation of less distant minorities.

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Vicky Fouka
Soumyajit Mazumder
Marco Tabellini
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The problem of low naturalization rates in the United States has entered policymakers’ agendas in light of the societal gains associated with citizenship and an increasing number of foreign-born residents. Nevertheless, there is little evidence on what policy interventions work best to increase naturalization rates. In this research, we show that the standardization of the fee waiver for citizenship applications in 2010 raised naturalization rates among low-income immigrants. These gains were particularly sizable among those immigrants who typically face higher hurdles to accessing citizenship. These findings have implications for policymakers interested in designing policies that help disadvantaged immigrant groups overcome barriers to citizenship.

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PNAS
Authors
Vasil Yasenov
Michael Hotard
Duncan Lawrence
Jens Hainmueller
David Laitin
Number
116:34
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The phrase “immigration enforcement” often calls to mind efforts to detain and deport undocumented migrants. Yet, governments increasingly employ strategies of exclusion – denying migrants access to public and private resources in the hope this will encourage them to voluntarily leave and deter future arrivals. This talk will discuss these practices as a way to improve our understanding of how state power operates in Europe today. Drawing on and developing the concept of infrastructural power, this talk examines how immigration enforcement requires both administrative coordination and linkages to social groups. Infrastructural power is particularly essential when it comes to exclusionary policies, which attempt to steer the behavior of individual human beings in decentralized, complex economies and societies. In the course of instituting these measures, state officials have augmented their capacities for overseeing non-migrants as well, so that all citizens and denizens are subject to increased supervision.

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Kimberly Morgan

Kimberly J. Morgan is a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University. Her work examines the politics shaping public policies in Western Europe and the United States, with particular interests in migration and social welfare. She is the author of two books, Working Mothers and the Welfare State: Religion and the Politics of Work-Family Policy in Western Europe and the United States (Stanford 2006) and The Delegated Welfare State: Medicare, Markets, and the Governance of American Social Policy (Oxford 2011), and co-editor of two volumes, the Oxford Handbook of US Social Policy (Oxford 2015) and The Many Hands of the State: Theorizing Political Authority and Social Control (Cambridge 2017).

 

Co-sponsored by the Global Populisms Program

Kimberly J. Morgan Professor of Political Science and International Affairs Speaker George Washington University
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Objectives To determine whether expanding Emergency Medicaid to cover prenatal care in Oregon affected maternal health outcomes for unauthorized immigrants. Methods This study takes place in Oregon from 2003 to 2015 and includes all Emergency Medicaid and Medicaid claims for women aged 12–51 with a pregnancy related claim. To isolate the effect of expanding access to prenatal care, we utilized a difference-in-differences approach that exploits the staggered rollout of the prenatal care program. The primary outcome was a composite measure of severe maternal morbidity and mortality. Additional outcomes include adequacy of prenatal care, detection of pregnancy complications and birth outcomes. Results A total of 213,746 pregnancies were included, with 35,182 covered by Emergency Medicaid, 12,510 covered by Emergency Medicaid Plus (with prenatal care), and 166,054 covered by standard Medicaid. Emergency Medicaid Plus coverage did not affect severe maternal morbidity (all pregnancies 0.05%, CI − 0.29; 0.39; high-risk pregnancies 2.20%, CI − 0.47; 4.88). The program did reduce inadequate care among all pregnancies (− 31.75%, 95% CI − 34.47; − 29.02) and among high risk pregnancies (− 38.60%, CI − 44.17; − 33.02) and increased diagnosis of gestational diabetes (6.24%, CI 4.36; 8.13; high risk pregnancies 10.48%, CI 5.87; 15.08), and poor fetal growth (7.37%, CI 5.69; 9.05; high risk pregnancies 5.34%, CI 1.00; 9.68). The program also increased diagnosis of pre-existing diabetes mellitus (all pregnancies 2.93%, CI 2.16; 3.69), hypertensive diseases of pregnancy (all pregnancies 1.28%, CI 0.52; 2.04) and a history of preterm birth (all pregnancies 0.87%, CI 0.27; 1.47). Conclusions for Practice Oregon’s prenatal care expansion program produced positive effects for unauthorized immigrant women and their children.

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Maternal and Child Health Journal
Authors
Jonas J. Swartz
Jens Hainmueller
Duncan Lawrence
Maria I. Rodriguez
Number
23:2
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We show that an information nudge increased the rate of American citizenship applications among low-income immigrants eligible for a federal fee waiver. Approximately half of the 9 million naturalization-eligible immigrants qualify for a federal programme that waives the cost of the citizenship application for low-income individuals. However, take-up of this fee waiver programme remains low1,2,3. Here we use a randomized field experiment to test the effectiveness of a low-cost intervention (a ‘nudge’) that informed low-income immigrants about their eligibility for the fee waiver. We find that the information nudge increased the rate of citizenship applications by about 8.6 percentage points from 24.5% in the control group to 33.1% in the treatment group (ordinary least squares regression with robust standard errors (d.f. = 933); P = 0.015; 95% confidence interval ranged from 1.7 to 15.4 percentage points). We found no evidence that the nudge was less effective for poorer or less educated immigrants. These findings contribute to the literature that addresses the incomplete take-up of public benefits by low-income populations4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and suggest that lack of information is an important obstacle to citizenship among low-income immigrants who demonstrate an interest in naturalization.

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Nature: Human Behaviour
Authors
Michael Hotard
Duncan Lawrence
David Laitin
Jens Hainmueller
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I study the effect of taste-based discrimination on the assimilation decisions of immigrant minorities. Do discriminated minority groups increase their assimilation efforts in order to avoid discrimination and public harassment or do they become alienated and retreat in their own communities? I exploit an exogenous shock to native attitudes, anti-Germanism in the United States during World War I, to empirically identify the reactions of German immigrants to increased native hostility. I use two measures of assimilation efforts: naming patterns and petitions for naturalization. In the face of increased discrimination, Germans increase their assimilation investments by Americanizing their own and their children’s names and filing more petitions for US citizenship. These responses are stronger in states that registered higher levels of anti-German hostility, as measured by voting patterns and incidents of violence against Germans.

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American Political Science Review
Authors
Vicky Fouka
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Many European countries impose employment bans that prevent asylum seekers from entering the local labor market for a certain waiting period upon arrival. We provide evidence on the long-term effects of these employment bans on the subsequent economic integration of refugees. We leverage a natural experiment in Germany, where a court ruling prompted a reduction in the length of the employment ban. We find that, 5 years after the waiting period was reduced, employment rates were about 20 percentage points lower for refugees who, upon arrival, had to wait for an additional 7 months before they were allowed to enter the labor market. It took up to 10 years for this employment gap to disappear. Our findings suggest that longer employment bans considerably slowed down the economic integration of refugees and reduced their motivation to integrate early on after arrival. A marginal social cost analysis for the study sample suggests that this employment ban cost German taxpayers about 40 million euros per year, on average, in terms of welfare expenditures and foregone tax revenues from unemployed refugees.

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Science Advances
Authors
Moritz Marbach
Jens Hainmueller
Dominik Hangartner
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