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Ethnic Identity and Educational Outcomes of German Immigrants and Their Children

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  • Anna-Elisabeth Thum

Abstract

Identity can be an important driving force for educational performance. Immigrants and their children face the challenge of identifying with their host country's culture. Thispaper examines whether young immigrants and their children who identify stronger with the German culture are more likely to increase their educational outcomes. I usea concept of ethnic identity which is designed to capture Germanness in immigrants' day-to-day routine - based on self-identification,language skills and cultural habits. The research design takes into account the issue of endogeneity of ethnic identity in an educational outcome equation by measuring education and identity at different moments and by using an endogenous latent factor methodology. The paper finds that identification with the German culture has an overall positiveeffect on educational outcomes and diminishes and renders the educational gap between immigrants and the second generation insignificant. The paper's results indicate that the second generation identifies stronger with the German culture than immigrants, no matter whether of German, European, Central European or Turkish background. Apart from the immigrant generation, own low educational attainment and high mother's educational attainment matter for identification with the German culture.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna-Elisabeth Thum, 2013. "Ethnic Identity and Educational Outcomes of German Immigrants and Their Children," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 622, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp622
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.436067.de/diw_sp0622.pdf
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    1. 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.
    2. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
    3. Chiswick, Barry R. & DebBurman, Noyna, 2004. "Educational attainment: analysis by immigrant generation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 361-379, August.
    4. 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.
    5. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    6. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten T. & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 767, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Zimmermann, Laura & Gataullina, Liliya & Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "Human capital and ethnic self-identification of immigrants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 235-239, March.
    8. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
    9. 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.
    10. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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