Oppositional identities and employment for ethnic minorities: Evidence from England

Harminder Battu, Yves Zenou

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71 Citations (Scopus)


Where a community or group is socially excluded from a dominant group, some individuals of that group may identify with the dominant culture and others may reject that culture. The aim of this article is to investigate this issue by empirically analysing the potential trade-off for ethnic minorities between sticking to their own roots and labour market success. We find that the social environment of individuals and attachments to culture of origin has a strong association with identity choice. Our results also suggest that those non-whites who have preferences that accord with being oppositional do experience an employment penalty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52 - 71
Number of pages20
JournalThe Economic Journal
Issue number542
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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