Turkish Migrants and Native Germans Compared: The Effects of Inter-Ethnic and Intra-Ethnic Friendships on the Transition from Unemployment to Work

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Abstract

In this paper, we analyse whether having inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic friendships can be associated with a shorter duration of unemployment, comparing Turkish migrants and native residents in Germany. This allows us to examine the degree to which the returns from bridging and bonding social capital differ for the two groups. On the basis of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) data, we find that for native Germans, intra-ethnic friendships shorten the duration of spells of unemployment, whereas inter-ethnic friendships do not. For the Turkish migrants, inter-ethnic friendships reduce the duration of unemployment, whereas intra-ethnic friendships do not. In other words, only friendships with German natives facilitate the transition to employment, but in particular for Turkish migrants. This effect is largest for migrants with a low level of education.

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