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Educational outcomes and immigrant background



This technical brief aims to answer questions such as: How do the skills and educational outcomes of foreign-born young people compare with those of the native-born? Do immigrants’ outcomes differ depending on whether they are EU foreign-born or non-EU foreign-born? How do the educational outcomes of second-generation immigrants compare with those of first-generation immigrants? How does the performance of recently arrived migrants compare with that of long-established immigrants? and with that of natives? Is there a correlation between educational outcomes and age of arrival or duration of stay? The brief thus seeks to contribute to analysis of the qualifications and skills composition of migrants in EU countries, as compared with that of their native counterparts. We take a life-cycle approach, focusing in turn on children, young adults and the overall working-age population. We start by looking at the skills of 15-year-old pupils. We then move on to the performance of young adults, in terms of a number of education-related indicators: early school leaving (ESL), young people neither in employment nor in education and training (NEETs), tertiary education attainment (TEA) and employment rate of recent graduates. Finally, we present a snapshot of the skills of the adult population. The results show that second-generation migrant students are systematically more disadvantaged than their native peers across EU countries; however, adults who arrived in the country when still young generally perform at levels closer to those of their native counterparts (or at least better than first-generation migrants), showing that education systems (including vocational training) have a key role to play in the integration process. Nonetheless, there still seems to be a significant under-used stock of migrant human capital. Being aware of this situation is crucial to putting in place policies and active measures to ensure that adult migrants are fully integrated.

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Flisi & Elena Claudia Meroni & Esperanza Vera-Toscano, 2016. "Educational outcomes and immigrant background," JRC Working Papers JRC102629, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
  • Handle: RePEc:ipt:iptwpa:jrc102629

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Borghans Lex & Golsteyn Bart H.H. & Heckman James & Humphries John Eric, 2011. "Identification Problems in Personality Psychology," Research Memorandum 025, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    2. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2002. "Subjective Questions to Measure Welfare and Well-being," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-020/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Amartya Sen, 1999. "The Possibility of Social Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 349-378, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zsuzsa Blasko & Artur Pokropek & Joanna Sikora, 2018. "Science career plans of adolescents: patterns, trends and gender divides," JRC Working Papers JRC109135, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    2. Stefan C. Wolter & Maria Zumbuehl, 2017. "The Native-Migrant Gap in the Progression into and through Upper-Secondary Education," CESifo Working Paper Series 6810, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Alison Cathles & Dongshu Ou & Simone Sasso & Mary Setrana & Tom van Veen, 2018. "Where Do You Come from, where Do You Go? Assessing Skills Gaps and Labour Market Outcomes of Young Adults with Different Immigration Backgrounds," CESifo Working Paper Series 7157, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Stefan C. Wolter & Maria Zumbuehl, 2017. "The Native-Migrant Gap in the Progression into and through Upper-Secondary Education," CESifo Working Paper Series 6810, CESifo Group Munich.

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    Educational outcome; skills; migrants;

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