Are Skeie Hermansen and Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund: "Intergenerational Persistence in Neighborhood Contexts among Immigrant Minorities in Norway"

In this article published in International Migration Review Are Skeie Hermansen, Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund and colleague study whether neighborhood equalization contributes to intergenerational persistence in neighborhood contexts among descendants of immigrants in Norway. 

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Spatial assimilation theory claims that immigrants’ acculturation and socioeconomic progress will lead to converging neighborhood attainment relative to non-migrant natives. Recently, it has been argued that equalization of local services and life chances across neighborhoods in egalitarian welfare states may delay spatial assimilation by reducing immigrants’ incentives to move out of low-income areas with many (co-ethnic) immigrant neighbors.

In this article, Are Skeie Hermansen, Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund and co-author extend this argument to study whether neighborhood equalization also contributes to intergenerational persistence in neighborhood contexts among descendants of immigrants in Norway.

Using administrative data, they find that immigrant descendants as adults often remain in neighborhood contexts that resemble their childhood neighborhoods, characterized by relative economic disadvantage and comparatively few ethnic majority residents. Intergenerational persistence in neighborhood contexts is strongest among descendants of immigrants from Pakistan, the Middle East, and Africa. The remaining immigrant–native gaps in spatial economic inequality largely reflect differences in individuals’ education and earnings, family background, and childhood neighborhood context, but these factors matter less for ethnic neighborhood segregation. For both economic and ethnic dimensions of neighborhood attainment, childhood neighborhood context is the factor that matters most in accounting for immigrant–native gaps, whereas individual socioeconomic attainment is the least important. Overall, our findings point to a pattern of “uneven assimilation” among immigrant descendants, where spatial assimilation is slow despite rapid socioeconomic progress across immigrant generations in the egalitarian Norwegian welfare state.

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Emneord: Immigration Assimilation, Mobility, neighbourhood
Publisert 8. mars 2022 16:18 - Sist endret 8. mars 2022 16:18