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Birthright citizenship and parental labor market integration

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Abstract

The introduction of the birthplace principle in the reform of the German citizenship law of 1999 significantly changed the legal environment for new-born children of long-term immigrants. In this study, I examine whether migrant parents adjust their labor market behavior in reaction to this improvement in their family's status and perspectives. I implement a type of difference-in-discontinuities approach to identify possible changes in employment and working hours after the enactment of the reform. In particular, I compare the differences in labor market outcomes between the parents of migrant children born shortly before and after the enactment date with those of children of mixed couples (migrants and Germans) who were unaffected by the reform. The results suggest that birthright citizenship for the child does not affect the labor market behavior of the fathers, but causes some mothers to stay at home and take care of their children during the first years.

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... These effects are entirely a male phenomenon, raising the puzzle of why immigrant boys seem to benefit from the reform, but immigrant girls do not. Two other papers look at how the reform impacts parents, finding that parents become more culturally assimilated (Avitabile et al. 2013) and that labor market participation decreases for immigrant mothers (Sajons 2019). ...
... In addition, related literatures have focused on non-labor market consequences of naturalization. Examples include Hainmueller and Hangartner (2017) who find that naturalization improves social integration of immigrants or Avitabile and Clots-Figueras (2013) and Sajons (2019) who find that birthright citizenship for immigrant children improves their parents' social and labor market integration. ...
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