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Social origins and social mobility: the educational and labour market outcomes of the children of immigrants in the UK

Carolina Zuccotti and Lucinda Platt ()
Additional contact information
Carolina Zuccotti: CONICET-UdeSA
Lucinda Platt: London School of Economics

No 2113, CReAM Discussion Paper Series from Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London

Abstract: Despite lower social class origins, children of immigrants in the UK are now attaining high levels of education. However, they experience poorer labour market outcomes, often attributed in part to disadvantaged origins. This paper engages with this paradox. We posit two potential mechanisms for second-generation educational success—social class misallocation and immigrant advantage—and discuss how far these sources of advantage might be replicated in labour market outcomes. We substantiate our discussion with empirical analyses. Drawing on a unique longitudinal study of England and Wales spanning 40 years and encompassing one percent of the population, we present new evidence on the educational and occupational social mobility of men and women from four immigrant-origin groups and the white British majority. We demonstrate that ethnic minorities’ educational advantage is only partially reflected in the labour market. We reflect on the implications of our findings for research on ‘ethnic penalties’ and social mobility.

Date: 2021-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-mig and nep-ure
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