Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 965–1004 | Cite as

Parental ethnic identity and educational attainment of second-generation immigrants

Original Paper

Abstract

A lack of cultural integration is often blamed for hindering immigrant families’ economic progression. This paper explores whether there are in fact long-term consequences by investigating intergenerational effects of parental ethnic identity on the next generation’s human capital accumulation. Results based on longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) indicate a positive role of both parental majority as well as minority identity. I find differential parental roles with impacts of majority identity working through mothers and minority identity effects being specific to fathers. While the positive effect of maternal majority identity appears to be closely related to language skills, the beneficial effect of paternal minority identity is consistent throughout various robustness checks and likely to be related to higher levels of children’s feelings of self-esteem. Overall, the results point at integrated, rather than separated or assimilated family environments to be most conductive for educational success of the second generation.

Keywords

Ethnic identity Second-generation immigrants Education Sibling fixed-effects 

JEL Classification

I21 J15 J16 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The survey data used in this paper were made available by the Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). Financial support from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for the project “Ethnic Diversity and Labor Market Success” in the DFG-Priority Program “Flexibility in Heterogeneous Labor Markets” is gratefully acknowledged. I thank the three anonymous referees for their help and guidance. This paper has further benefited from insightful comments and helpful suggestions by Costanza Biavaschi, Tanika Chakraborty, Alexander Danzer, Martin Fischer, Gianna C. Giannelli, Corrado Giulietti, Julia Lang, Michele Pellizzari, Enrico Rettore, Ulf Rinne, Ingrid Tucci and Klaus F. Zimmermann. I thank participants of the 2nd OECD Immigration Workshop, AIEL 2012, SIE 2012, EALE 2012, the 8th IZA Annual Migration Meeting (AM 2), the 8th Young Scholar SOEP Symposium, ESPE 2011, IWAEE 2011, the Norface Migration Conference 2011, the FBK-IRVAPP Brownbag Seminar, the FamIne Brownbag Seminar and the BeNa Seminar. All remaining errors are my own.

References

  1. Adda J, Björklund A, Holmlund H (2011) The role of mothers and fathers in providing skills: evidence from parental deaths, IZA Discussion Paper 5425Google Scholar
  2. Akerlof GA, Kranton RE (2000) Economics and identity. Q J Econ 115 (3):715–753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alba R, Handl J, Müller W (1994) Ethnische Ungleichheit im Deutschen Bildungssystem. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 46(2):209–237Google Scholar
  4. Algan Y, Dustmann C, Glitz A, Manning A (2010) The economic situation of first and second-generation immigrants in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Econ J 120(542):4–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Autorengruppe Bildungsberichterstattung (2008) Bildung in Deutschland 2008: Ein indikatorengestützter Bericht mit einer Analyse zu Übergängen im Anschluss an den Sekundarbereich I. W. Bertelsmann Verlag, BielefeldGoogle Scholar
  6. Baker DP, Stevenson DL (1986) Mothers’ strategies for children’s school achievement: managing the transition to high school. Sociol Educ 59(3):156–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Battu H, Zenou Y (2010) Oppositional identities and employment for ethnic minorities: Evidence from England. Econ J 120(542):52–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Becker GS (1981) A treatise on the family. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  9. Becker GS, Tomes N (1976) Child endowments and the quantity and quality of children. J Polit Econ 84(4):143–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Becker GS, Tomes N (1986) Human capital and the rise and fall of families. J Labor Econ 4(3 Pt. 2):1–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Belzil C, Poinas F (2010) Education and early career outcomes of second-generation immigrants in France. Labour Econ 17(1):101–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Berry JW (1997) Immigration, acculturation, and adaptation. Appl Psychology 46(1):5–34Google Scholar
  13. Black SE, Devereux PJ, Salvanes KG (2005) The more the merrier? The effect of family size and birth order on children’s education. Q J Econ 120(2):669–700Google Scholar
  14. Bleakley H, Chin A (2008) What holds back the second generation? The intergenerational transmission of language human capital among immigrants. J Hum Resources 43(2):267–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Borjas GJ (1992) Ethnic capital and intergenerational mobility. Q J Econ 107 (1):123–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Casey T, Dustmann C (2008) Intergenerational transmission of language capital and economic outcomes. J Hum Resources 43(3):660–687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Casey T, Dustmann C (2010) Immigrants’ identity, economic outcomes and the transmission of identity across generations. Econ J 120(542):31–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chiswick BR (1988) Differences in education and earnings across racial and ethnic groups: tastes, discrimination, and investments in child quality. Q J Econ 103 (3):571–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Chiswick CU (2009) The economic ceterminants of ethnic assimilation. J Popul Econ 22(4):859–880CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cobb-Clark DA, Nguyen TH (2012) Educational attainment across generations: the role of immigration background. Econ Rec 88(283):554–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Colding B (2006) A dynamic analysis of educational progression of children of immigrants. Labour Econ 13(4):479–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Constant AF, Roberts R, Zimmermann KF (2009) Ethnic identity and immigrant homeownership. Urban Stud 46(9):1879–1898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Constant AF, Zimmermann KF (2008) Measuring ethnic identity and its impact on economic behavior. J Eur Econ Assoc 6(2-3):424–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Constant AF, Zimmermann KF (2009) Work and money: payoffs by ethnic identity and gender. In: Constant A F, Tatsiramos K, Zimmermann K F (eds) Ethnicity and Labor Market Outcomes (Research in Labor Economics, Volume 29). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp 3–30Google Scholar
  25. Cunha F, Heckman JJ (2008) Formulating, identifying and estimating the technology of cognitive and noncognitive skill formation. J Hum Resources 43 (4):738–782CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Djajić S (2003) Assimilation of immigrants: implications for human capital accumulation of the second generation. J Popul Econ 16(4):831–845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dustmann C (2004) Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages. Oxf Econ Papers 56(2):209–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Filippin A, Paccagnella M (2012) Family background, self-confidence and economic outcomes. Econ Educ Rev 31(5):824–834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Frick JR, Wagner GG (2001) Economic and social perspectives of immigrant children in Germany. In: Currle E, Wunderlich T (eds) Deutschland – ein Einwanderungsland? Rückblick, Bilanz und neue Fragen, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  30. Furtado D (2006) Cross-nativity marriages and human capital levels of children. In: Constant A F, Tatsiramos K, Zimmermann K F (eds) Ethnicity and labor market outcomes (Research in labor economics, volume 29). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp 273–296Google Scholar
  31. Gang IN, Zimmermann KF (2000) Is child like parent? Educational attainment and ethnic origin. J Hum Resources 35(3):550–569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gong L (2007) Ethnic identity and identification with the majority group: relations with national identity and self-esteem. Int J Intercult Relat 31(4):503–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Haisken-DeNew JP, Büchel F, Wagner GG (1997) Assimilation and other determinants of school attainment in Germany: do immigrant children perform as well as Germans? Q J Econ Res 66(1):169–179Google Scholar
  34. Kao G, Tienda M (1995) Optimism and achievement: the educational performance of immigrant youth. Soc Sci Q 76(1):1–19Google Scholar
  35. Krause A, Rinne U, Schüller. S (2014) Kick it like Özil? Decomposing the native-migrant education gap. Int Mig Rev. doi:10.1111/imre.12107 Google Scholar
  36. Liebkind K (1996) Acculturation and stress: vietnamese refugees in Finland. J Cross-Cult Psychol 27(2):161–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Luthra RR (2010) Assimilation in a new context: educational attainment of the immigrant second generation in Germany. ISER Working Paper, p 21Google Scholar
  38. Nekby L, Rödin M (2007) Acculturation identity and labor market outcomes. IZA Discussion Paper, p 2826Google Scholar
  39. Nekby L, Rödin M (2010) Acculturation identity and employment among second and middle generation immigrants. J Econ Psychol 31(1):35–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nekby L, Rödin M, Özcan G (2009) Acculturation identity and higher education: is there a trade-off between ethnic identity and education? Int Mig Rev 43(4):938–973CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nesdale D, Rooney R, Smith L (1996) Migrant ethnic identity and psychological distress. J Cross-Cult Psychol 28(5):569–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nielsen HS, Rosholm M, Smith N, Husted L (2003) The school-to-work transition of 2nd generation immigrants in Denmark. J Popul Econ 16(4):755–786CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Olneck MR (1995) Immigrants and education. In: Banks J A, Banks C A M (eds) Handbook of research on multicultural education. Macmillan, New York, pp 310–327Google Scholar
  44. Pendakur K, Pendakur R (2005) Ethnic identity and the labour market. Mimeo, Simon Fraser UniversityGoogle Scholar
  45. Phinney JS, Horenczyk G, Liebkind K, Vedder P (2001) Ethnic identity, immigration, and well-being: an interactional perspective. J Soc Issues 57(3):493–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Phinney JS, Ong AD (2007) Conceptualization and measurement of ethnic identity: current status and future directions. J Couns Psychol 54(3):271–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Portes A, Rumbaut RG (1990) Immigrant America: a portrait. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  48. Riphahn RT (2003) Cohort effects in the educational attainment of second generation immigrants in Germany: an analysis of census data. J Popul Econ 16 (4):711–737CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Riphahn RT (2005) Are there diverging time trends in the educational attainment of nationals and second generation immigrants? J Econ Stat 225:325–346Google Scholar
  50. Schüller S (2011) Parental ethnic identity and educational attainment of second-generation immigrants, IZA Discussion Paper:6155Google Scholar
  51. Spieß CK, Büchel F, Wagner GG (2003) Children’s school placement in Germany: does kindergarten attendance matter Early Child Res Q 18(2):255–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Statistisches Bundesamt (2009) Bevölkerung und Erwerbstätigkeit: Bevölkerung mit Migrationshintergrund - Ergebnisse des Mikrozensus 2007, Fachserie 1 Reihe 22Google Scholar
  53. Tajfel H (1981) Human groups and social categories: studies in social psychology. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  54. van Ours JC, Veenman J (2003) The educational attainment of second-generation immigrants in The Netherlands. J Popul Econ 16(4):739–753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. van Ours JC, Veenman J (2010) How interethnic marriages affect the educational attainment of children: evidence from a natural experiment. Labour Econ 17(1):111–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wagner GG, Frick JR, Schupp J (2007) The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP); scope, evolution and enhancements. Schmollers Jahrb 127(1):139–169Google Scholar
  57. Zimmermann L, Gataullina L, Constant AF, Zimmermann KF (2008) Human capital and ethnic self-identification of immigrants. Econ Lett 98(3):235–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FBK-IRVAPPTrentoItaly
  2. 2.IZABonnGermany

Personalised recommendations