Working Paper No. 649

Oppositional Identities and the Labor Market

Publicerad: October 19, 2005Antal sidor: 39Nyckelord: Ethnic Minorities; Identity; Social Networks; White's Norm; Multiple EquilibriaJEL-koder: 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.

 

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