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Unequal AttainmentsEthnic educational inequalities in ten Western countries$
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Anthony Heath and Yaël Brinbaum

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265741

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265741.001.0001

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Origin and Destination Effects on the Educational Careers of Second-generation Minorities

Origin and Destination Effects on the Educational Careers of Second-generation Minorities

(p.245) 9 Origin and Destination Effects on the Educational Careers of Second-generation Minorities
Unequal Attainments

Herman G. Van De Werfhorst

Erika Van Elsas

Anthony Heath

British Academy

We examine whether context matters for the integration of second-generation children of migrants into Western educational systems. Using data on ten destination countries and on five distinct educational outcomes at various stages of the educational career, we study educational inequalities between the second-generation immigrants and their majority peers. We find that institutional and migration variables affect the magnitude of ethnic educational disadvantage, even when social background is accounted for. Ethnic inequality is greater in countries like Belgium and Germany with more strongly tracked educational systems, and in countries with limited multicultural policies. In contrast, ethnic inequality is lower if the first-generation migrants are selected based on their skills, compared with the non-migrant population in origin countries. Our interpretation is that more positively selected migrants are more ambitious for their children to succeed within Western educational systems, and their children are more likely to take advantage of the opportunities offered them.

Keywords:   ethnic inequality, second generation, educational career, integration context, comparative analyses, tracking, multiculturalism

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