IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Educational Attainment, Wages and Employment of Second-Generation Immigrants in France


  • Gabin Langevin
  • David Masclet
  • Fabien Moizeau
  • Emmanuel Peterlé


We use data from the Trajectoires et Origines survey to analyze the labor-market outcomes of both second-generation immigrants and their French native counterparts. Second-generation immigrants have on average a lower probability of employment and lower wages than French natives. We find however considerable differences between second-generation immigrants depending on their origin: while those originating from Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Turkey are less likely to be employed and receive lower wages than French natives, second-generation immigrants with Asian or Southern- and Eastern-European origins do not differ significantly from their French native counterparts. The employment gap between French natives and second generation immigrants is mainly explained by differences in their education; education is also an important determinant of the ethnic wage gap. Finally we show that these differences in educational attainment are mainly explained by family background. Although the role of discrimination cannot be denied, our findings do point out the importance of family background in explaining lifelong ethnic inequalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabin Langevin & David Masclet & Fabien Moizeau & Emmanuel Peterlé, 2013. "Educational Attainment, Wages and Employment of Second-Generation Immigrants in France," CIRANO Working Papers 2013s-33, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2013s-33

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romain Aeberhardt & Julien Pouget, 2010. "National Origin Differences in Wages and Hierarchical Positions," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 99-100, pages 117-139.
    2. Yann Algan & Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Alan Manning, 2010. "The Economic Situation of First and Second-Generation Immigrants in France, Germany and the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(542), pages 4-30, February.
    3. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Gianandrea Lanzara, 2012. "Educational achievement of second‐generation immigrants: an international comparison," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 27(69), pages 143-185, January.
    4. Amine Ouazad, 2008. "Assessed by a Teacher Like Me: Race, Gender and Subjective Evaluations," CEE Discussion Papers 0098, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    5. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
    6. Romain Aeberhardt & Denis Fougère & Julien Pouget & Roland Rathelot, 2010. "Wages and employment of French workers with African origin," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 881-905, June.
    7. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2000. "Eliminating Race Differences in School Attainment and Labor Market Success," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 614-652, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Santos, Manon Domingues Dos & Wolff, François-Charles, 2011. "Human capital background and the educational attainment of second-generation immigrants in France," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1085-1096, October.
    10. Belzil, Christian & Poinas, François, 2010. "Education and early career outcomes of second-generation immigrants in France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 101-110, January.
    11. Puhani, Patrick A, 2000. " The Heckman Correction for Sample Selection and Its Critique," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 53-68, February.
    12. P. A. Riach & J. Rich, 2002. "Field Experiments of Discrimination in the Market Place," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 480-518, November.
    13. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2005. "The effect of overcrowded housing on children's performance at school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 797-819, June.
    14. Erik Plug & Wim Vijverberg, 2005. "Does Family Income Matter for Schooling Outcomes? Using Adoptees as a Natural Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 879-906, October.
    15. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    16. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
    17. Jan C. van Ours & Justus Veenman, 2003. "The educational attainment of second-generation immigrants in The Netherland," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 739-753, November.
    18. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Tommaso Frattini, 2008. "The labour market impact of immigration," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 478-495, Autumn.
    19. Borjas, George J & Bronars, Stephen G, 1989. "Consumer Discrimination and Self-employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 581-605, June.
    20. Lundberg, Shelly J & Startz, Richard, 1983. "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 340-347, June.
    21. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
    22. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "A Teacher Like Me: Does Race, Ethnicity, or Gender Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 158-165, May.
    23. repec:adr:anecst:y:2010:i:99-100:p:06 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Romain Aeberhardt & Denis Fougère & Julien Pouget & Roland Rathelot, 2010. "L’emploi et les salaires des enfants d’immigrés," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 433(1), pages 31-46.
    25. Shoshana Neuman & Ronald Oaxaca, 2004. "Wage Decompositions with Selectivity-Corrected Wage Equations: A Methodological Note," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 2(1), pages 3-10, April.
    26. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    27. Sophie Larribeau & David Masclet & Emmanuel Péterlé, 2013. "Que nous apprend l'économie expérimentale sur les différences homme-femme sur le marché du travail ?," Post-Print halshs-00921089, HAL.
    28. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2001. "Family Matters: Impacts of Family Background on Educational Attainments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 137-156, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    labor-market discrimination; second-generation immigrants; educational attainment; family background; decomposition methods;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2013s-33. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.