Working Paper No. 649

Oppositional Identities and the Labor Market

Published: October 19, 2005Pages: 39Keywords: Ethnic Minorities; Identity; Social Networks; White's Norm; Multiple EquilibriaJEL-codes: A14; J15

Oppositional Identities and the Labor Market Harminder Battu, McDonald Mwale and Yves Zenou


We develop a model in which non-white individuals are defined with respect to their social environment (family, friends, neighbors) and their attachments to their culture of origin (religion, language), and in which jobs are mainly found through social networks. We find that, depending on how strong peer pressures are, non-whites choose to adopt "oppositional" identities since some individuals may identify with the dominant culture and others may reject that culture, even if it implies adverse labor market outcomes.

 

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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