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Who assimilates? Statistical artefacts and intergenerational mobility in immigrant families

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  • Luthra, Renee Reichl
  • Soehl, Thomas

Abstract

This paper assesses estimates of immigrant intergenerational mobility that are based on aggregate data sources. We show that aggregation bias strongly inflates estimates of the relationship between immigrants’ educational attainment and the educational attainment of their children. Compared to natives, the educational transmission process between parent and child is much weaker in immigrant families. A number of group-level processes, such as societal discrimination, ethnic segregation, or ethnic networks, may render group characteristics more important predictors of second generation educational attainment than parental education.

Suggested Citation

  • Luthra, Renee Reichl & Soehl, Thomas, 2014. "Who assimilates? Statistical artefacts and intergenerational mobility in immigrant families," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-28, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2014-28
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    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2014-28.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Card & John DiNardo & Eugena Estes, 2000. "The More Things Change: Immigrants and the Children of Immigrants in the 1940s, the 1970s, and the 1990s," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 227-270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Christian Dustmann, 2008. "Return Migration, Investment in Children, and Intergenerational Mobility: Comparing Sons of Foreign- and Native-Born Fathers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 299-324.
    4. Cutler, David M. & Glaeser, Edward L. & Vigdor, Jacob L., 2008. "When are ghettos bad? Lessons from immigrant segregation in the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 759-774, May.
    5. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Wen-Hao Chen & Miles Corak, 2013. "Intergenerational Education Mobility among the Children of Canadian Immigrants," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(s1), pages 107-122, May.
    6. Bauer, Philipp & Riphahn, Regina T., 2006. "Timing of school tracking as a determinant of intergenerational transmission of education," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 90-97, April.
    7. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 300-323, November.
    8. James P. Smith, 2003. "Assimilation across the Latino Generations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 315-319, May.
    9. George J. Borjas, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-150.
    10. 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.
    11. Julie Park & Dowell Myers, 2010. "Intergenerational mobility in the post-1965 immigration era: Estimates by an immigrant generation cohort method," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(2), pages 369-392, May.
    12. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Michael Rosholm & Nina Smith & Leif Husted, 2003. "The school-to-work transition of 2 nd generation immigrants in Denmark," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 755-786, November.
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