, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 1507–1545 | Cite as

How Durable Are Ethnoracial Segregation and Spatial Disadvantage? Intergenerational Contextual Mobility in France

  • Haley McAvayEmail author


Building on emerging research into intergenerational contextual mobility, I use longitudinal data from France (1990–2008) to investigate the extent to which second-generation immigrants and the French majority continue to live in similar neighborhood environments during childhood and adulthood. To explore the persistence of ethnoracial segregation and spatial disadvantage, I draw on two measures of neighborhood composition: the immigrant share and the unemployment rate. The analysis explores the individual and contextual factors underpinning intergenerational contextual mobility and variation across immigrant-origin groups. The results document a strong stability of neighborhood environments from childhood to adulthood, especially with regard to the ethnoracial composition of the neighborhood. Individual-level factors are quite weak in accounting for these patterns compared with the characteristics of the city of origin. Moreover, the degree of contextual mobility between childhood and adulthood varies across groups. I find that neighborhood environments are more stable over time for non-European second-generation immigrants. The findings offer important new empirical contributions to the French literature on the residential segregation of immigrants and will more broadly be of interest to scholars of intergenerational spatial and social mobility.


Intergenerational contextual mobility Spatial disadvantage Ethnoracial segregation Immigrant assimilation Neighborhoods 



This research was supported by the Flash Asile program of the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-16-FASI-0001). Data access was made possible by the Centre d’accès sécurisé aux données (CASD), supported by a French state grant (Grant No. ANR-10-EQPX-17). I also thank Denis Fougère, Mirna Safi, Yannick Savina, Gregory Verdugo, and the three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


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© Population Association of America 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut national d’études démographiques (INED)ParisFrance

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