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Explaining gaps in educational transitions between migrant and native school leavers

Markus Zimmermann

Applied Economics, 2022, vol. 54, issue 15, 1759-1786

Abstract: This paper analyzes the reasons for the gaps in post-schooling transitions between migrant and native pupils in Germany. While differences in parental background or skills partly explain the gaps, they are not sufficient. Conditional on these factors, there is a ‘polarization’ of educational choices: migrants are more likely to attend tertiary education, less likely to attend vocational education, and more likely to end without qualified training than their background and skills would predict. This is driven by the migrants’ more academic career aspirations and expectations before leaving school. On the one hand, these higher ambitions allow high-skilled migrants to achieve tertiary education despite their less favourable background. On the other hand, low-skilled migrants who in Germany’s tracked school system do not have the option to enter tertiary education, may be diverted from vocational training as a more viable alternative. Finally, possible explanations for the different career plans are discussed.

Date: 2022
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Working Paper: Explaining Gaps in Educational Transitions Between Migrant and Native School Leavers (2019) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2021.1982130

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