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Educational Attainment of Second-Generation Immigrants: A U.S.-Canada Comparison

Author

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  • Liu, Xingfei

    () (University of Alberta)

Abstract

In this paper, I analyze educational outcomes for second generation immigrants and compare them to those of natives. I use a dynamic structural model and focus on transition paths from school to work for youths in Canada and the U.S. Using data extracted from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the 2000 Youth in Transition Survey, I find that family background is closely related to educational attainment of white children of immigrants in both countries. Moreover, cognitive abilities seem to be more important in determining youths' educational attainment in the U.S. than in Canada. However, I find no evidence suggesting that the effects of key family environment variables on educational attainment differ between children of immigrants and children of natives. Results from counterfactual simulations suggest that incentive-based educational reforms, such as providing educational subsidies to reduce the costs of secondary and post-secondary education, are more effective in increasing overall educational attainment for both groups. In addition, the desired dollar amount of these educational subsidies are smaller in Canada than in the U.S. On the other hand, immigration policies designed to admit only highly educated individuals have modest effects on educational attainment of second generation immigrants. Finally, there is very little difference in educational outcomes between the two groups in Canada and the U.S. despite very different immigration policies, at least for the ethnic group (whites) considered in this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Xingfei, 2014. "Educational Attainment of Second-Generation Immigrants: A U.S.-Canada Comparison," IZA Discussion Papers 8685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8685
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jorgen Hansen & Xingfei Liu, 2015. "Estimating labour supply responses and welfare participation: Using a natural experiment to validate a structural labour supply model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1831-1854, December.
    2. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jorgen, 2007. "A structural analysis of the correlated random coefficient wage regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 827-848, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "Exploring The Usefulness Of A Nonrandom Holdout Sample For Model Validation: Welfare Effects On Female Behavior," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1351-1378, November.
    5. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1384-1417, December.
    6. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2002. "Unobserved Ability and the Return to Schooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 2075-2091, September.
    7. Philippe Belley & Marc Frenette & Lance Lochner, 2010. "Post-Secondary Attendance by Parental Income: Comparing the U.S. and Canada," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20103, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    8. Michael G. Abbott & Charles M. Beach, 1993. "Immigrant Earnings Differentials and Birth-Year Effects for Men in Canada: Post-war-1972," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 505-524, August.
    9. 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.
    10. Cohen, Yinon & Zach, Tzippi & Chiswick, Barry, 1997. "The educational attainment of immigrants: Changes over time," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 229-243.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    second-generation immigrants; educational attainment; counterfactual-simulation; dynamic structural model; U.S.-Canada comparison;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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