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The school-to-work transition of 2nd generation immigrants in Denmark


2nd generation immigrants from less developed countries have less education and a lower employment frequency compared to the native Danish youth. We analyse the school-to-work transition of these groups using panel data for the years 1985–1997. The educational gap between 2nd generation immigrants and the Danish youth is to some extent explained by age structure, while age does not explain the native-immigrant gap concerning the duration of waiting time until first job and the duration of first employment spell. Instead parental capital and neighbourhood effects seem to play a major role. We find large gender differences among 2nd generation immigrants in the school-to-work transition.

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Correspondence to Nina Smith.

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All Correspondence to Nina Smith. Thanks to Thomas Haugaard Jensen, Anne-Sofie Reng Rasmussen and Mette Skak-Nielsen who have done part of the computational work. We also want to thank two anynomous referees and participants in the ESF-conference on Migration and Development in Naples 2000 and the ESPE conference in Athens 2001 for many valuable comments. The project has been financed by the Danish Social Science Research Council (FREJA), the Danish Ministry of Labour and TSER. Furthermore, Helena Skyt Nielsen has been supported financially by the Danish Social Science Research Council (SSF), while this work was undertaken. Responsible editors: David Card and Christopher M. Schmidt.

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Nielsen, H., Rosholm, M., Smith, N. et al. The school-to-work transition of 2nd generation immigrants in Denmark. J Popul Econ 16, 755–786 (2003).

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JEL classification:

  • J61
  • J71

Key words:

  • School-to-work transition
  • second generation immigrants
  • intergenerational transmission