Economic Participation and National Self-Identification of Refugees in the Netherlands

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Abstract

This study examines whether refugees self-identify as a member of the host society. We use survey data of more than 2,500 Somali, Iraqi, Afghani, Iranian, and ex-Yugoslavian refugees in the Netherlands. The results show that economic participation in the host country is positively related to refugees’ national self-identification. In addition, we find that refugees’ social ties with Dutch natives are associated with national self-identification and that the relationship between economic participation and national self-identification is partially explained by these social ties. Perceived discrimination is not related to refugees’ national self-identification. Implications of these findings for debates on immigration and integration are discussed.

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