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Do migrants prefer academic to vocational education? The role of rational factors vs. social status considerations in the formation of attitudes toward a particular type of education in Switzerland

Author

Listed:
  • Aurelien Abrassart

    (University of Bern)

  • Marius R. Busemeyer

    (University of Konstanz)

  • Maria A. Cattaneo

    (Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education)

  • Stefan C. Wolter

    (CESifo, IZA)

Abstract

Using a unique and original dataset measuring attitudes toward vocational and academic education in Switzerland, we explored differences between Swiss natives and immigrants with regard to individual preferences for these different types of education, and their perceived labor market value and social status. More particularly, we tested the hypothesis that migrants exhibit stronger preferences for academic education and attribute a higher labor market value and social status to this form of education compared to Swiss natives as a result of rational calculations and cultural expectations. As our results indicate, first-generation immigrants do exhibit stronger preferences for academic education and assign a higher labor market value to it, but not necessarily a higher social status, although important differences across distinct groups of migrants can be observed. In general, the rational aspects of distinct types of education as measured by their perceived labor market value appear more relevant for the understanding of the formation of attitudes toward vocational vs. academic education, although the variation across groups of migrants indicates that cultural aspects also matter to a certain extent.

Suggested Citation

  • Aurelien Abrassart & Marius R. Busemeyer & Maria A. Cattaneo & Stefan C. Wolter, 2017. "Do migrants prefer academic to vocational education? The role of rational factors vs. social status considerations in the formation of attitudes toward a particular type of education in Switzerland," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0128, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0128
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Claudia Senik & Holger Stichnoth & Karine Straeten, 2009. "Immigration and Natives’ Attitudes towards the Welfare State: Evidence from the European Social Survey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 91(3), pages 345-370, May.
    2. Cattaneo, M. Alejandra & Wolter, Stefan C., 2009. "Are the elderly a threat to educational expenditures?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 225-236, June.
    3. Busemeyer, Marius R. & Cattaneo, Maria Alejandra & Wolter, Stefan C., 2010. "Individual policy preferences for vocational versus academic education micro level evidence for the case of Switzerland," MPIfG Discussion Paper 10/11, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    4. Brady, David & Finnigan, Ryan, 2014. "Does Immigration Undermine Public Support for Social Policy?," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 17-42.
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    6. Kristen, Cornelia & Granato, Nadia, 2007. "The educational attainment of the second generation in Germany : social origins and ethnic inequality," IAB-Discussion Paper 200704, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    7. Ansell,Ben W., 2010. "From the Ballot to the Blackboard," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521190183.
    8. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 187-278.
    9. Thomas Bolli & Ladina Rageth, 2016. "Measuring the Social Status of Education Programmes: Applying a New Measurement to Dual Vocational Education and Training in Switzerland," KOF Working papers 16-403, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Bolli & Ladina Rageth & Ursula Renold, 2019. "The Social Status of Vocational Education and Training in Switzerland," KOF Working papers 19-451, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    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.

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    Keywords

    migrants; preferences; educational system; vocational education; academic education; rational action theory; cultural heritage;
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