What are the consequences of immigrants’ expressions of their links toward their home cultures on their assimilation? We posit the existence of two types of ethnic/immigrant goods – one directly impacts their income and a second doesn’t. Certain ethnic goods isolate immigrants from the host population – dressing and eating differently, holding on to traditions interfering with daily working life such as not attending business meetings because the food doesn’t adhere to religious standards, a requirement to pray, and so on – and could lead to active discrimination, harassment or missed work opportunities. Other ethnic goods have a more silent, public goods aspect, not giving rise to income loss. These include donations to schools, religious institutes or houses of worship, helping the needy, investment in relations between the home and host country, and remittances to family and others in the home country. In addition to affecting income, while both types of ethnic goods can slow assimilation to host country behavior, they do so at very different rates, with the isolating goods reducing assimilation to a much greater extent than the less publicly visible goods.
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