Ethnic Differences in the Risk of Unemployment: Does the Last Name Matter?

Dominique Meurs, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Ariane Pailhé, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

The risk of unemployment in France is higher for second–generation North African immigrants than it is for second generations from other ethnic origins. We propose to test the role of the (father’s) surname in the hiring process by comparing the risk of unemployment of natives and three second-generation sub-groups: people born to two immigrant parents, those born to an immigrant father and a native mother – so the surname can be used as a marker of their origin - and those born to a native father and an immigrant mother – so the surname looks “native”. Using the French employment surveys, we estimate the probability of being unemployed. Second-generation North Africans born to mixed parents have a higher risk of unemployment if they have an immigrant father than if they have an immigrant mother. This difference is not observed in the case of second-generation South Europeans.

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Presented in Session 190: The Children of Immigrants in Comparative Perspective