International Handbook on the Economics of Migration
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International Handbook on the Economics of Migration

Edited by Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann

Migration economics is a dynamic, fast-growing research area with significant and rising policy relevance. While its scope is continually extending, there is no authoritative treatment of its various branches in one volume. Written by 44 leading experts in the field, this carefully commissioned and refereed Handbook brings together 28 state-of-the-art chapters on migration research and related issues.
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Chapter 10: Ethnic hiring

David Neumark


Economic migration brings with it the challenge of racial, ethnic or national minorities assimilating into their adopted labor markets. Barriers to the employment of these minorities will clearly inhibit their successful assimilation. This chapter focuses on the hiring side of the equation: are there barriers to the hiring of racial and ethnic minorities, what is the nature of these barriers and how do workers overcome these barriers? The chapter focuses on three key influences on the hiring of racial, ethnic or national minorities: discrimination, spatial mismatch and networks. The barriers posed by discrimination and spatial mismatch are obvious. Networks can also pose barriers to the extent that ethnic minorities have fewer network connections than majority groups, but networks can also be a way for ethnic minorities to overcome barriers to employment. The chapter integrates recent research my co-authors and I have done on these topics. It is not an exhaustive survey of all of the research on these specific topics, nor does it cover other topics that could bear on ethnic hiring. The focus is not on economic migrants per se, but on ethnic and racial minorities, with much evidence coming from research on Hispanics and blacks in the United States.

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