A Life Course Perspective on the Citizenship Premium: the Case of the Netherlands

Floris Peters , Maastricht University/Statistics Netherlands

Does citizenship acquisition have a positive effect on the socio-economic integration of immigrants? Empirical support for this so-called citizenship premium is ambiguous, but there is little development of theory that explains why some migrants in certain countries seem to benefit from citizenship, while others do not. In this paper, we go beyond the question of the existence of a citizenship premium in general, and aim to unravel the conditions under which citizenship matters, focusing on the case of the Netherlands. We hypothesize that the extent of the citizenship premium is conditioned by the labour market performance of the migrant group to which an individual belongs. Furthermore, we argue that the decision to naturalize is made in the larger context of immigrant life courses and as such, the workings of the citizenship premium should not only focus on the perspective of employers, but also on migrants themselves. We use unique micro-level longitudinal data from Statistics Netherlands from 1996 until 2012, based on Dutch population registers and information from the tax authorities. These data contain almost all registered first generation immigrants in the Netherlands, which allows us to track and compare the citizenship status and socio-economic position – in terms of paid employment and wages - of different immigration cohorts.

About the speaker
Floris Peters is a PhD-candidate at the Department of Political Science at Maastricht University, and part-time researcher at Statistics Netherlands. His work focusses on the relevance of citizenship for the socio-economic and socio-cultural integration of first generation immigrants in the Netherlands. Previously, he worked at the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, doing research on marriage migration and discrimination in the Netherlands.

Venue: Conference room (0.16/0.17)

Date: 20 January 2016

Time: 12:30 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT