17 November 2020, presentations at Dutch Demography Week 2020

Tuesday, 17.11.2020 Session 4: Migration and integration

Analysing the impact of host country citizenship acquisition on the educational outcomes of the children of immigrants using sibling fixed-effects
by Marie Labussière, Mark Levels and Maarten Vink

During recent decades, the educational outcomes of the children of immigrants have been extensively studied, with a growing emphasis on the heterogeneity of the so-called second generation. Yet, the impact of host country citizenship on children’s educational outcomes has only received limited attention so far, although children of immigrants do not get automatic birthright citizenship in most European countries. While existing studies suggest a positive effect of host country citizenship on educational outcomes, at least two aspects deserve further research. First, it is not clear whether the timing of naturalisation matters, whereas host country citizenship may influence children’s aspirations and resources differently depending on the age at which they become citizens. Second, previous work rarely puts emphasis on causality despite a great potential for endogeneity, with parents acquiring host-country citizenship being positively selected for income and level of education. Focusing on the Netherlands, this paper takes a causality-oriented approach to analyse the potential effect of parents’ naturalisation on their children’s grades at the primary school year-end exam. We use data from central population registers to identify full cohorts of secondgeneration siblings finishing primary education between 2008 and 2015, and we exploit variation in their exposure to naturalisation to net out the effect of time-constant parental characteristics. This family fixed-effects approach enables us to measure a potential independent effect of age at naturalisation. Preliminary results suggest that children who naturalised before taking the final exam received grades that were between 1-2 points higher than those who are still foreign citizens at that date (on a 49-point scale). Yet, there is only limited evidence that naturalisation has differentiated effects depending on when it is acquired during childhood. We then compare these fixed-effects estimates with that of random and mixed effects models to assess and discuss the strength of parents’ self-selection into naturalisation.

Becoming Dutch at what cost? The impact of application fees for naturalisation by immigrants in the Netherlands
Swantje Falcke, Floris Peters and Maarten Vink

Citizenship policies in Europe have been characterised by contrasting trends over the past decade with reforms such as dual citizenship acceptance or shorter residence requirements making citizenship more accessible to immigrants. In contrast, the introduction of civic integration and economic requirements have provided new obstacles to immigrants’ naturalisation. The overall impact of citizenship liberalisation and restriction are relatively well studied; yet the impact of economic requirements on citizenship acquisition rates remains understudied in Europe. These requirements may either be direct, such as proof of economic self-sufficiency, or indirect, such as the payment of a substantial application fee. Especially the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have witnessed significant increases of application fees in the past decade, which may well prejudice the chances of immigrants, especially those with lower incomes, of becoming a citizen of the destination country. While studies have recently analysed the relevance of fees and fee waivers in the US context, few studies exist that probe the impact of application fees in the European context. In this paper we analyse the role of application fees in the naturalisation decision of immigrants in the Netherlands, where fees have increased from 336 euro in 2003 to currently 901 euro for a single application, with especially large hikes in 2010 and 2011 (Figure 1). Using administrative register data on the complete immigrant population between 2008 and 2012, we look at how increased application fees have affected the naturalisation propensity of low-income migrants in the Netherlands.


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)

Copyright 2017 Maastricht University | Design: CaVaBien.nl