(Withdrawn) Ethnic versus social background explanations in educational attainment of second generation migrants

Vicky Bastiaenssen, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

This study considers the role of migration and group-specific ethnic penalties in minority groups’ life chances. At the core of this study lies the interplay between ethnicity, social background and educational attainment for allochtonous youngsters in comparison to their Belgian peers. We examine this interplay in two ways. First we focus on educational attainment measured as the delay in age when graduating from secondary education and the extent of that delay. Secondly we consider the educational trajectories by focusing on the different tracks in secondary education youngsters find themselves in. Using a unique link between the Belgian Census of 1991 and 2001, the socio-economic and ethnic background of the family of orientation is linked to the educational outcomes ten years later. Social background is measured by considering the characteristics of the parental household ten years earlier, namely parental occupational, parental educational and parental economic status (housing). We focus on the three largest migrant groups in Belgium, namely Italians, Moroccans and Turks as well as on successive migrant generations. Ethnicity is determined by taking both parents’ nationality at birth into account. We hereby control for gender, region and household types. Results show the general and large impact of parental resources remains for both allochtonous and native youngsters. Nonetheless children from ethnic minorities still find themselves in a disadvantageous position, even when controlled for social background. However, heterogeneity appears to be the key word in explaining educational attainment for various ethnic backgrounds through social background differentials. The impact of socio-economic background was smaller for the Moroccan and Turkish second generation in comparison to their native peers, with the Italians holding a middle position.

Presented in Session 68: Education and religion

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