Floris Peters presents at UNU-MERIT Migration Seminar

Presentation abstract:

There is a broad range of literature that analyses whether citizenship acquisition improves the odds of settlement success of immigrants. These studies predominantly focus on labour market outcomes of naturalisation, such as employment and earnings. Yet the settlement process comprises a much broader range of factors, and it remains unclear whether naturalisation plays a positive role in other domains of life. This paper takes a first step in that direction by investigating a potential citizenship premium in the housing market. More specifically, this paper analyses the relevance of citizenship acquisition for homeownership of first generation immigrants in the Netherlands. We hypothesize that citizenship acquisition favourably influences the risk-calculation of lenders on the credit market through positive signalling. However, we expect citizenship to matter only for employed migrants, who have the necessary financial basis to be eligible for a mortgage. To test these assumptions, we use high-quality register data from Statistics Netherlands over the period 2003-2011, and employ Cox proportional hazard regression. Results reveal a positive effect of naturalisation in the housing market. Immigrants are more than 25 percent more likely to be a homeowner after naturalisation, all else constant. However, we observe no effect for unemployed migrants. Furthermore, citizenship acquisition is less relevant for migrants with a native-born partner. We conclude that naturalisation matters in the housing market, but that its relevance is selective.


MiLifeStatus has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 682626)

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