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Differences in educational attainment by country of origin: Evidence from Australia

Listed author(s):
  • Jaai Parasnis
  • Jemma Swan

This study investigates native-migrant differences in engagement in post-school education. Using a longitudinal survey of youth in Australia, we find that immigrants originating from non-English speaking countries are significantly more likely to continue with further study between the ages of 18 and 23. On the other hand, there are no significant differences between immigrants from English-speaking countries and native youth. We find several important factors influencing study decisions, including parents and family background, academic ability, aspirations and age at migration; however, accounting for these factors does not fully explain the higher probability of pursuing higher education for immigrants from non-English speaking countries. Exploring the country of origin effect, we find that immigrants from countries with low tertiary education levels are more likely to study in Australia, while differences in parental attitudes in their origin countries do not have a significant effect. The results show the importance of country of origin on the study decisions of youth, which should be taken into account when formulating migration and education policies.

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File URL: http://business.monash.edu/economics/research/publications/eco/0517differencesparasnisswan.pdf
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Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 05-17.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2017
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2017-05
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia

Phone: +61-3-9905-2493
Fax: +61-3-9905-5476
Web page: http://business.monash.edu/economics
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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. Kim, Youngmi & Sherraden, Michael & Clancy, Margaret, 2013. "Do mothers’ educational expectations differ by race and ethnicity, or socioeconomic status?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 82-94.
  3. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Gianandrea Lanzara, 2012. "Educational achievement of second‐generation immigrants: an international comparison," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 27(69), pages 143-185, January.
  4. Giannelli, Gianna Claudia & Rapallini, Chiara, 2016. "Immigrant student performance in Math: Does it matter where you come from?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 291-304.
  5. Sylke Schnepf, 2007. "Immigrants’ educational disadvantage: an examination across ten countries and three surveys," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 527-545, July.
  6. van Ours, J.C. & Veenman, J.M.C., 2005. "Age at Immigration and Educational Attainment of Young Immigrants," Discussion Paper 2005-11, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. 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.
  8. Colding, Bjørg & Husted, Leif & Hummelgaard, Hans, 2009. "Educational progression of second-generation immigrants and immigrant children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 434-443, August.
  9. 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.
  10. Belzil, Christian & Poinas, François, 2010. "Education and early career outcomes of second-generation immigrants in France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 101-110, January.
  11. Cahit Guven & Asadul Islam, 2015. "Age at Migration, Language Proficiency, and Socioeconomic Outcomes: Evidence From Australia," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(2), pages 513-542, April.
  12. Tramonte, Lucia & Willms, J. Douglas, 2010. "Cultural capital and its effects on education outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 200-213, April.
  13. Jan C. van Ours & Justus Veenman, 2003. "The educational attainment of second-generation immigrants in The Netherland," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 739-753, November.
  14. George Borjas, 2001. "Long-Run convergence of ethnic skill differentials, revisited," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(3), pages 357-361, August.
  15. 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.
  16. Sinan Gemici & Alice Bednarz & Tom Karmel & Patrick Lim, 2014. "Young People's Aspirations and Their Occupational Outcomes," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 47(1), pages 124-136, March.
  17. Cortes, Kalena E., 2006. "The effects of age at arrival and enclave schools on the academic performance of immigrant children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 121-132, April.
  18. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials: The Children and Grandchildren of the Great Migration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 553-573, July.
  19. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
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