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Neighbourhood effects, preference heterogeneity and immigrant educational attainment

  • Buly Cardak
  • James Ted McDonald

This paper investigates differences between the educational attainment of immigrants, children of immigrants and native-born individuals in Australia by using Australian Youth Survey (AYS) data combined with aggregate Australian Census data. Differences in educational attainment are decomposed into: (i) typical demographic and socio-economic sources common to all ethnic groups; (ii) unobserved region of residence and region of origin effects; and (iii) neighbourhood effects such as degree and ethnic concentration of particular ethnic groups in different neighbourhoods. A theoretical model incorporating these effects is proposed but structural estimation is not possible for lack of appropriate data. Instead, a reduced form methodology is proposed and employed. The empirical results identify positive ethnic neighbourhood effects in high school completion and university enrolment for some immigrant groups in Australia, in particular first and second generation immigrants from Asia. The results indicate that it is not just the size of the ethnic network but the 'quality' of the network that is important.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2004)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 559-572

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:36:y:2004:i:6:p:559-572
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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 1999. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," JCPR Working Papers 62, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  2. Ira N. Gang, 1997. "Schooling, Parents and Country," Departmental Working Papers 199617, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  3. Ira N. Gang & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1999. "Is Child Like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," Departmental Working Papers 199614, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  5. Cardak, Buly A, 1999. "Heterogeneous Preferences, Education Expenditures and Income Distribution," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(228), pages 63-76, March.
  6. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
  7. Julian R. Betts & Magnus Lofstrom, 1998. "The Educational Attainment of Immigrants: Trends and Implications," NBER Working Papers 6757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chiswick, Barry R. & Miller, Paul W., 1994. "The determinants of post-immigration investments in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 163-177, June.
  9. Chiswick, Barry R, 1988. "Differences in Education and Earnings across Racial and Ethnic Groups: Tastes, Discrimination, and Investments in Child Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 571-97, August.
  10. Cardak, B.A., 1998. "Preferences Over Education Expenditure," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 623, The University of Melbourne.
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