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WPS No.46 | Van Gent, W. & Zorlu, A. (2020) | Housing market position and spatial concentration of immigrants and their (grand)children

A generational perspective on socio-spatial assimilation

To gauge socio-spatial assimilation in the Netherlands, Wouter van Gent and Aslan Zorlu study the housing market position and concentration of immigrants and their families from a generational perspective.

Classical urban studies and assimilation theories hold that over multiple generations immigrant groups will slowly integrate socially, improve their housing market position, and spatially disperse from urban concentrations. This paper takes a generational perspective to study the state of socio-spatial assimilation of various migrant groups in the Netherlands. The generational perspective is twofold. First, in addition to the ‘second generation’, this research also presents novel data on the grandchildren of immigrants and native-Dutch (‘third generation’). Second, our regression analyses of owner occupation and of living in first generation concentrations, include parental background variables that seek to account for family migration histories (wealth, tenure, and distance). These parental background variables show a relatively high predictive value. We also find that subsequent generations are generally less likely to live in rental housing compared to successive generations. Evidence also indicates that ‘third generation’ Surinamese-Dutch and Turkish-Dutch are less likely to live in concentrations than their parents, which is indicative of generational desegregation.