Migration and Cultural Change

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10 Septembre 2020
Types de publication: 
Cahier de recherche
Hillel Rapoport
Sulin Sardoschau
Arthur Silve
Axe de recherche: 
Enjeux économiques et financiers
cultural change
Classification JEL: 

We examine both theoretically and empirically how migration affects cultural change in home and host countries. Our theoretical model integrates various compositional and cultural transmission mechanisms of migration-based cultural change for which it delivers distinctive testable predictions on the sign and direction of convergence. We then use the World Value Survey for the period 1981-2014 to build time-varying measures of cultural similarity for a large number of country pairs and exploit within country-pair variation over time. Our evidence is inconsistent with the view that immigrants are a threat to the host country’s culture. While migrants do act as vectors of cultural diffusion and bring about cultural convergence, this is mostly to disseminate cultural values and norms from host to home countries (i.e., cultural remittances).


Hillel Rapoport : Paris School of Economics, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and CEPII.
Sulin Sardoschau : Humboldt University, Department of Economics.
Arthur Silve : Université Laval, Department of Economics.

We thank Alberto Alesina, Simone Bertoli, George Borjas, Gustavo De Santis, Frédéric Docquier, William Easterly, Jeffry Frieden, Oded Galor, Libertad Gonzalez, Thierry Mayer, Florian Mayneris, Marion Mercier, Nathan Nunn, Mathias Thoenig, Thierry Verdier, Romain Wacziarg, David Weil, and participants at various conferences including the AFD-World Bank Migration and Development Conference, the OECD-CEPII conference on Immigration in OECD countries, World Bank Globalization: Contents and Discontents, NEUDC 2018, CEA / CDESG conference 2018, 4th Workshop on Migration, Health, and Well-Being, AFSE 2018, EEA 2018, Migration Worskshop at the Barcelona summer forum 2019, SIOE 2019, and seminar audiences at Laval, Lausanne, Erasmus University, Louvain, Luxembourg, IDB, Humboldt University, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, UQAM, PSE and Brown.