Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1304.4392 (Adriano Barra et al.)

Integration indicators in immigration phenomena. A statistical mechanics

Adriano Barra, Pierluigi Contucci, Rickard Sandell, Cecilia Vernia
Integration of immigrants is a complex socioeconomic phenomenon considered difficult to describe, understand, and predict. We address the problem of how integration changes with immigration density, and we propose a novel approach to its study guided by a statistical mechanics perspective. More precisely, we focus on studying the dependence of classical integration quantifiers such as the percentage of jobs, temporary and permanent, given to immigrants, mixed marriages, and newborns with parents of mixed origin on the density of immigrants in the population. Analysis of the average data behavior shows that while the McFadden discrete choice theory is in excellent agreement with the job market quantifiers, the mixed marriages and newborns quantifiers behave in accordance with an imitative theory similar to the one introduced by Brock and Durlauf and suitably extended to a monomer-dimer model with interacting social network. Our findings show that a model that allows for imitation explains the anomalous high growth in the rate of mixed marriages and newborns with mixed parents observed at low immigration densities. Ignoring the possibility of imitation would instead underestimate the observed quantities by as much as 30 percent when immigrant densities are low, and overestimate them with a similar error when the densities are high. Our method open up the possibility of predicting immigrant integration quantifiers for all the immigration densities starting from their observation at small densities.
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