Monday, 18 March, 2024 | 14:00 | Room 402 | Applied Micro Research Seminar

Alexander Yarkin (Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research) "Does the 'Melting Pot' Still Melt? Internet and Immigrants' Integration"

Alexander Yarkin, M.A.

Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)

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Abstract: Does the Internet bring closer or further segregate immigrants and locals? This paper documents the effects of origin-country Internet expansion on immigrants' social integration at destination. In a model of migration and networking, individuals choose where to live, and how to allocate time between destination- and origin-country ties. An increase in origin-country connectivity is predicted to decrease immigrants' integration at destination. Using language proficiency and naturalization data from the ACS, I find that growing Internet access at the origins slows down the pace of immigrants' integration. Importantly, the effect is driven by lower-skilled immigrants, suggesting that the Internet can exacerbate the gaps between low- and high-skill immigrants. To establish the mechanisms of how new ICTs transform networking behavior of immigrants I rely on the American Time Use Survey, as well as data on international phone calls and Facebook usage. This paper adds to our understanding of how new ICTs transform the links between immigration, diversity, and social cohesion.