Naturalization and employment of immigrants in France (1968‐1999)

Denis Fougère (CNRS, CREST‐INSEE, Paris, France, IZA, Bonn, Germany, and CEPR, London, UK)
Mirna Safi (OSC, Sciences Po and CREST‐INSEE, Paris, France)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Publication date: 27 March 2009



The purpose of this study is to examine the empirical link between the naturalization of immigrants and their subsequent employment status in France from 1968 to 1999.


For that purpose, longitudinal data coming from a panel dataset which follows almost 1 percent of the French population from 1968 to 1999 through information contained in the 1968, 1975, 1982, 1990 and 1999 French censuses were used. Control for the potential endogeneity of the naturalization process was through a bivariate probit model.


It was found that naturalization has a significant positive relationship with immigrants' subsequent employability. This is particularly true for groups of immigrants who have a low probability of employment in the host country.

Research limitations/implications

The dataset can only measure statistical association between naturalization and employment, given the lack of timing information. Interpretation in terms of causality is thus not permitted.


The dataset used is especially valuable for studying social integration of immigrants, since it allows significant samples of immigrants, according to their country of origin, these groups being generally too small in other surveys.



Fougère, D. and Safi, M. (2009), "Naturalization and employment of immigrants in France (1968‐1999)", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 30 No. 1/2, pp. 83-96.

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