Catching Up? Country Studies on Intergenerational Mobility and Children of Immigrants

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Previous OECD and EU work has shown that even native-born children with immigrant parents face persistent disadvantage in the education system, the school-to-work transition and the labour market. To which degree are these linked with their immigration background, i.e. with the issues faced by their parents? Complementing the report Catching Up? Intergenerational Mobility and Children of Immigrants (OECD 2017), this publication presents seven in-depth country case studies. The countries and regions covered in this publication are Austria, the European Union, France, Germany, the Netherlands, North America and Sweden.


Executive Summary

The consequences of past immigration and integration are reflected in today’s intergenerational mobility of immigrants’ native-born children. This publication presents a series of country case studies. Among these OECD countries, Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands share the experience of large-scale low-educated immigration, the so-called “guest workers”, in the post-World War II economic boom period. The native‑born children of these immigrants generally had relatively lower starting conditions in terms of socio-economic characteristics compared to their peers with native‑born parents. In contrast, immigration to Canada has been largely high-educated, although not all immigrant groups have the same background, and intergenerational mobility patterns vary across groups. The native-born children of many Asian immigrants in Canada, for example, have a remarkably high university attendance rate that is relatively insensitive to parents’ education, family income and even their own high school results.


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