CANCELLED: “Does Access to Citizenship Confer Socio-economic Returns? Evidence from a Randomized Control Design,” Jens Hainmueller, Stanford University

Event time: 
Thursday, April 11, 2024 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Institution for Social and Policy Studies (PROS77 ), A002 See map
77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 


Abstract: Based on observational studies, conventional wisdom suggests that citizenship carries economic benefits and improves political integration. We leverage a randomized experiment from New York where low-income registrants who wanted to become citizens entered a lottery to receive fee vouchers to naturalize. Voucher recipients were about 36 p.p. more likely to naturalize. Yet, we find no discernible effects of access to citizenship on several economic outcomes, including income, credit scores, access to credit, financial distress, and employment. Leveraging a multi-dimensional immigrant integration index, we similarly find no measurable effects on non-economic integration, including political, social, psychological, linguistic, and navigational integration outcomes. However, we do find that citizenship reduces fears of deportation. Explaining our divergence from past studies, our results also reveal evidence of positive selection into citizenship, suggesting that observational studies of citizenship are susceptible to selection bias.

Jens Hainmueller is the Kimberly Glenn Professor in Political Science and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He is also the Faculty Co-Director of the Stanford Immigration Policy Lab, which focuses on the design and evaluation of immigration and integration policies and programs. His research interests include statistical methods, causal inference, immigration, and political economy. Hainmueller received his PhD from Harvard University and has also studied at the London School of Economics, Brown University, and the University of Tübingen. Before joining Stanford, he served on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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This series is sponsored by the ISPS Center for the Study of American Politics and The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale with support from the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Fund.

This workshop is being sponsored jointly with the Leitner Political Economy Seminar series.