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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Intergenerational mobility among young natives with immigrant parents

A review of the literature

Taking an intergenerational perspective, this literature review seeks to identify key factors that affect the transmission of socio-economic status from immigrant parents to their children. It begins by exploring family characteristics: how intergenerational mobility is impacted by the number of siblings, the parents’ length of stay in the host country, parental language skills and educational aspirations. It then looks at the relationship between growing up in a disadvantaged neighbourhood and intergenerational mobility. Next, it presents an overview of different factors at the school level: going to school with high shares of students with a migration background, institutional aspects such as early childhood education and streaming mechanisms in secondary school, as well as parents’ familiarity with the school system and teachers’ expectations and behaviours. Finally, the chapter explores three factors besides education that impact mobility in the labour market: school-to-work transition of natives with a migration background, sorting into occupational fields, and discrimination at the hiring stage and during employment.

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