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Segregation, entrepreneurship and work values: the case of France

Abstract

This paper studies the interaction between labour market integration, “work values” and entrepreneurial capital inside minority communities. A simple model of labour market segmentation with ethnic capítal and endogenous transmission of cultural values inside a minority group is presented. It emphasizes the role of entrepreneurial capital as an important driver of labour market integration and as a promoter of meritocratic work values inside the community. The case immigrants in France is then empirically studied as an example. We show that the contrasted labour market outcomes and work values of immigrants from Maghreb versus Southern Europe are, statistically, totally explained away by their different levels of entrepreneurial capital.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. Another aspect is that “ethnic” employers are themselves submitted to a certain pressure to hire workers of the same group; another facet of “social capital” in a way.

  2. Information about the survey is available at www.cmh.ens.fr/acsdm2/enquetes/XML/lil-0190.xml.

  3. Naturally, the tables and analysis presented in this paper were weighted in order to correct for this sampling bias.

  4. “Among those friends that you have just quoted, are some of them: (Many possible answers, tick the chosen answers.): Neighbors/Former school-mates/Childhood friends/Persons coming from the same place as you/People with whom you share the same values, the same way of living/People of the same profession, or of the same professional group as you/None of these categories of people.”

  5. These marginal effects are obtained with Dprobit estimates.

  6. Note that the results of Tables 5 and 6 are essentially unchanged when we drop this control from the regressions.

    We also verified that the place of work in people’s identity that is explained in columns 5 and 6 of Table 5 is itself an important determinant of the probability to be inactive. In a logit regression of the probability to be inactive, the coefficient on job identity is − 1.099 [0,123] (2,908 observations, log likelihood = − 1,052, pseudo-R 2 = 0.24).

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Acknowledgements

We thank the Lasmas-IDL (Centre Maurice Halbwachs) for providing the 1999 French Census data 1999; we are grateful to Eric Maurin, Hélène Garner, Dominique Meda, Michel Gollac as well as three anonymous referees for their useful remarks. We thank CEPREPAM for financial support.

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Correspondence to Claudia Senik.

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Responsible editor: Klaus F. Zimmermann

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Senik, C., Verdier, T. Segregation, entrepreneurship and work values: the case of France. J Popul Econ 24, 1207–1234 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-010-0328-6

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Keywords

  • Ethnic minorities
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Work values

JEL Classification

  • J15
  • J7
  • Z13