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Cohort effects in the educational attainment of second generation immigrants in Germany: An analysis of census data


  • Regina T. Riphahn



Even though second generation immigrants make up ever increasing population shares in industrialized countries we know little about their social integration and wellbeing. This study focuses on the educational attainment of German born children of immigrants. Their schooling success still lags behind that of natives. This paper investigates school attendance and completed degrees of second generation immigrants and finds that even after controlling for characteristics the educational gap remains large and significant. The available evidence suggests that this group as a whole does not assimilate to native educational standards and instead increasingly falls behind. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Regina T. Riphahn, 2003. "Cohort effects in the educational attainment of second generation immigrants in Germany: An analysis of census data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 711-737, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:16:y:2003:i:4:p:711-737
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-003-0146-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ira N. Gang & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2000. "Is Child like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 550-569.
    2. Leslie, Derek & Drinkwater, Stephen, 1999. "Staying on in Full-Time Education: Reasons for Higher Participation Rates among Ethnic Minority Males and Females," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(261), pages 63-77, February.
    3. Regina T. Riphahn & Jochen Mayer, 2000. "Fertility assimilation of immigrants: Evidence from count data models," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(2), pages 241-261.
    4. Regina T. Riphahn, 2002. "Residential location and youth unemployment: The economic geography of school-to-work transitions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(1), pages 115-135.
    5. John P. Haisken-DeNew & Felix Büchel & Gert G. Wagner, 1997. "Assimilation and Other Determinants of School Attainment in Germany: Do Immigrant Children Perform as Well as Germans?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 66(1), pages 169-179.
    6. Barry R. Chiswick, 1988. "Differences in Education and Earnings Across Racial and Ethnic Groups: Tastes, Discrimination, and Investments in Child Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 571-597.
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    More about this item


    I21; J24; J61; Second generation immigrants; educational attainment; assimilation;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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