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Ethnic Identity and Educational Outcomes of German Immigrants and Their Children

  • Anna-Elisabeth Thum

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.

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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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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 622.

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Length: 30 p.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp622
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  1. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten & Heckman, James, 2003. "Estimating distributions of treatment effects with an application to the returns to schooling and measurement of the effects of uncertainty on college choice," Working Paper Series 2003:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  2. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Constant, Amelie & Gataullina, Liliya & Zimmermann, Klaus F & Zimmermann, Laura, 2006. "Human Capital and Ethnic Self-Identification of Migrants," CEPR Discussion Papers 5884, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Chiswick, Barry R. & DebBurman, Noyna, 2004. "Educational attainment: analysis by immigrant generation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 361-379, August.
  7. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  8. 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.
  9. Borjas, George J, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-50, February.
  10. 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.
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