Catching Up? Intergenerational Mobility and Children of Immigrants

image of Catching Up? Intergenerational Mobility and Children of Immigrants

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? This publication includes cross-country comparative work and provides new insights on the complex issue of the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage for native-born children of immigrants.

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Foreword and Acknowledgements

Social mobility is an important policy objective to foster inclusive economies and societies. It may not be surprising that many immigrants face specific difficulties to progress along the income ladder: they often have to overcome greater barriers to mobility linked among others to the fact that they have been raised and educated in a different environment and education system, and that they may not have the same command of the host language as natives. However, one would hope that, at least for children of immigrants who are native-born, these barriers would disappear and they could enjoy the same opportunity for social mobility as their peers. Yet, evidence suggests that native-born children of immigrants tend to still lag behind their peers with native-born parents in many OECD countries, especially in Europe. This is particularly worrying since these are a large and growing group, and their integration is vital for social cohesion and economic prosperity.

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