Identifying Immigrants and Their Descendants in the National Educational Panel Study

Chapter

Abstract

The data gathered in the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) can be used to describe and analyze the education of immigrants and their offspring across different stages in the school career and the life course and to uncover the origins of ethnic educational inequalities. In order to complement this task, it is necessary to adequately identify the population of interest. For this purpose, the NEPS includes a set of potential immigrant identifiers. This contribution provides an overview of the various measures and illustrates alternative ways of considering immigrants and their descendants. It also addresses a selection of problems that arise when applying one operationalization as opposed to another. The focus is on the country of birth, citizenship, and language use. The analyses are based on NEPS data from three starting cohorts: Kindergarten, Grade 5, and Grade 9. The findings indicate that the size of the immigrant population varies when using different operationalizations as well as across cohorts. Assignments based on citizenship and language use yield a substantially smaller migrant population than assignments via the country of birth. Drawing on the example of the two largest immigrant groups in Germany, namely children and youth of Turkish origin and from the Former Soviet Union, it turns out that the use of certain identifiers may not be equally appropriate for different groups.

Keywords

Migration Turkey 

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BambergDeutschland

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