Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Family Background and Higher Education Attainment Among Children of Immigrants

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
Journal of Family and Economic Issues Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

This study uses a modified form of Perna’s educational choice model (Studying college access and choice: A proposed conceptual model, Springer, Berlin, 2006) to examine whether children of immigrants have an “immigrant advantage” related to educational attainment. Children of immigrants represent approximately one in four children in the US and are the fastest growing segment of school-aged children. Using data from all 16 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997–2013), a random effects regression analysis indicated that children with at least one immigrant parent had a higher likelihood of higher education attainment. When separate regressions were run by race/ethnicity, the immigrant advantage was only present for Black and Hispanic respondents. Results presented evidence of omitted variable bias when modeling higher education attainment where parental immigration status was absent.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1

Source Adapted from Perna (2006)

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes

  1. Results were robust with respect to the selection of the number of nearest neighbors- setting k = 10, as recommended by Morris et al. (2014), in the imputation step resulted in no material differences in the regression estimates.

  2. Results were robust with respect to the choice of predictive mean matching over a regression-based approach. Using regression and truncated regressions in the imputation step resulted in no material differences in regression estimates.

  3. Dollar values are in US currency.

References

  • Alexander, K. L., & Eckland, B. K. (1974). Sex differences in the educational attainment process. American Sociological Review, 39(5), 668–682. doi:10.2307/2094313.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baum, S., & Flores, S. M. (2011). Higher education and children in immigrant families. The Future of Children, 21(1), 171–193. doi:10.1353/foc.2011.0000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Benjamin, D. J., Brown, S. A., & Shapiro, J. M. (2013). Who is “behavioral’? Cognitive ability and anomalous preferences. Journal of the European Economic Association, 11(6), 1231–1255. doi:10.1111/jeea.12055.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bickel, W. K., Odum, A. L., & Madden, G. J. (1999). Impulsivity and cigarette smoking: Delay discounting in current, never, and ex-smokers. Psychopharmacology, 146(4), 447–454. doi:10.1007/pl00005490.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 Cohort, (1997–2013). (Rounds 1–16). Produced by the National Opinion Research Center, the University of Chicago and distributed by the Center for Human Resource Research. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University. 2016.

  • Callahan, R. M., & Humphries, M. H. (2016). Undermatched? School-based linguistic status, college going, and the immigrant advantage. American Educational Research Journal, 53(2), 263–295. doi:10.3102/0002831215627857.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Camarota, S. A., & Zeigler, K. (2016). 61 Million immigrants and their young children now live in the United States. Washington, DC: Center for Immigration Studies. Retrieved from http://cis.org/sites/cis.org/files/immigrants-and-their-children-16_1.pdf.

  • Feliciano, C., & Lanuza, Y. R. (2015). The immigrant advantage in adolescent educational expectations. International Migration Review, 50(3), 758–792. doi:10.1111/imre.12183.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Feliciano, C., & Rumbaut, R. G. (2005). Gendered paths: Educational and occupational expectations and outcomes among adult children of immigrants. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28(6), 1087–1118. doi:10.1080/01419870500224406.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fuchs, V. R. (1982). Economic aspects of health. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. doi:10.7208/chicago/9780226267944.001.0001.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Haskins, R., Holzer, H., & Lerman, R. (2009). Promoting economic mobility by raising postsecondary education. Washington, DC: Pew Research Centers. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/alfresco/publication-pdfs/1001280-Promoting-Economic-Mobility-By-Increasing-Postsecondary-Education.PDF.

  • Kao, G., & Tienda, M. (1998). Educational aspirations of minority youth. American Journal of Education, 106(3), 349–384. doi:10.1086/444188

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kaufman, P., Alt, M. N., & Chapman, C. D. (2004). Dropout rattablees in the United States: 2001. Statistical Analysis Report NCES 2005-046. US Department of Education. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2005/2005046.pdf.

  • Kimmes, J. G., & Heckman, S. J. (2017). Parenting styles and college enrollment: A path analysis of risky human capital decisions. Journal of Family and Economic Issues. doi:10.1007/s10834-017-9529-4.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lusardi, A., Mitchell, O. S., & Curto, V. (2010). Financial literacy among the young. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 44(2), 358–380. doi:10.1111/j.1745-6606.2010.01173.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Melguizo, T. (2011). A review of the theories developed to describe the process of college persistence and attainment. In Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (pp. 395–424). Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-0702-3_10.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Morgan, S. L. (2005). On the edge of commitment: Educational attainment and race in the United States. Stanford University Press.

  • Morris, T. P., White, I. R., & Royston, P. (2014). Tuning multiple imputation by predictive mean matching and local residual draws. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 14(1), 75. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-14-75.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Oreopoulos, P., & Salvanes, K. G. (2011). Priceless: The nonpecuniary benefits of schooling. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(1), 159–184. doi:10.1257/jep.25.1.159.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Perna, L. W. (2000). Differences in the decision to attend college among African Americans, Hispanics, and Whites. Journal of Higher Education, 71, 117–141. doi:10.2307/2649245.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Perna, L. W. (2006). Studying college access and choice: A proposed conceptual model. In Higher education: (pp. 99–157). Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/1-4020-4512-3_3.

    Google Scholar 

  • Perna, L. W., & Thomas, S. L. (2008). Theoretical perspectives on student success: Understanding the contributions of the disciplines. ASHE Higher Education Report, 34(1), 1–87. doi:10.1002/aehe.v34:1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Raleigh, E., & Kao, G. (2010). Do immigrant minority parents have more consistent college aspirations for their children? Social Science Quarterly, 91(4), 1083–1102. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6237.2010.00750.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Reynolds, J. R., & Pemberton, J. (2001). Rising college expectations among youth in the United States: A comparison of the 1979 and 1997 NLSY. Journal of Human Resources, 36(4). doi:10.2307/3069639.

  • Rubin, D. B. (1987). Multiple imputation for nonresponse in surveys. New York, NY: Wiley.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Sewell, W. H. (1971). Inequality of opportunity for higher education. American Sociological Review, 36(5), 793–809. doi:10.2307/2093667.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Siahaan, F., Lee, D. Y., & Kalist, D. E. (2014). Educational attainment of children of immigrants: evidence from the national longitudinal survey of youth. Economics of Education Review, 38, 1–8. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.10.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • StataCorp (2013). Stata 13 Base Reference Manual. College Station, TX: Stata Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • StataCorp (2015). Stata Statistical Software: Release 14. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mitzi K. Lauderdale.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

This article uses secondary data, however, informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the original data collection.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lauderdale, M.K., Heckman, S.J. Family Background and Higher Education Attainment Among Children of Immigrants. J Fam Econ Iss 38, 327–337 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-017-9537-4

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-017-9537-4

Keywords

Navigation