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Published in: The Annals of Regional Science 1/2018

05-10-2017 | Original Paper

How immigration reduced volunteering in the USA: 2005–2011

Authors: Tiago Freire, Xiaoye Li

Published in: The Annals of Regional Science | Issue 1/2018

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Abstract

In this study, we show that an inflow of immigrants reduces volunteering, a proxy of social capital investment, in receiving communities. Since the 1960s, there has been a large decrease in social capital in the USA as well as a considerable inflow of immigrants. This increased heterogeneity of US cities may have increased the cost of investing in social capital, and thereby, reduced such investment. By using the current population survey September Volunteer Supplement for 2005–2011, we examine the relationship between the proportion of foreign-born people and social capital investment by US-born individuals, proxied by volunteering. Once we correct for immigrants’ self-selection to different destinations using a supply–push instrumental variable, we find that a 1 standard deviation increase in the proportion of foreign-born individuals in a state reduces the probability of US-born individuals volunteering by 0.09–0.15 standard deviations and cuts number of hours volunteered by 0.13–0.21 standard deviations.

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Footnotes
1
For recent changes to CPS surveys, see the BLS website http://​www.​bls.​gov/​opub/​hom/​homch1_​e.​htm.
 
2
This same effect would be seen if quality of education abroad was lower than education in the USA.
 
3
If we included foreign-born individuals in our sample, our results would be similar.
 
4
However, this result for hours volunteered is not statistically significant.
 
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Metadata
Title
How immigration reduced volunteering in the USA: 2005–2011
Authors
Tiago Freire
Xiaoye Li
Publication date
05-10-2017
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Published in
The Annals of Regional Science / Issue 1/2018
Print ISSN: 0570-1864
Electronic ISSN: 1432-0592
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00168-017-0848-z