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Do migrants prefer academic to vocational education? The role of rational factors vs. social status considerations in the formation of attitudes toward a particular type of education in Switzerland

Aurelien Abrassart, Marius R. Busemeyer, Maria A. Cattaneo and Stefan Wolter
Additional contact information
Aurelien Abrassart: University of Bern
Marius R. Busemeyer: University of Konstanz
Maria A. Cattaneo: Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education

No 128, Economics of Education Working Paper Series from University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Abstract: Using a unique and original dataset measuring attitudes toward vocational and academic education in Switzerland, we explored differences between Swiss natives and immigrants with regard to individual preferences for these different types of education, and their perceived labor market value and social status. More particularly, we tested the hypothesis that migrants exhibit stronger preferences for academic education and attribute a higher labor market value and social status to this form of education compared to Swiss natives as a result of rational calculations and cultural expectations. As our results indicate, first-generation immigrants do exhibit stronger preferences for academic education and assign a higher labor market value to it, but not necessarily a higher social status, although important differences across distinct groups of migrants can be observed. In general, the rational aspects of distinct types of education as measured by their perceived labor market value appear more relevant for the understanding of the formation of attitudes toward vocational vs. academic education, although the variation across groups of migrants indicates that cultural aspects also matter to a certain extent.

Keywords: migrants; preferences; educational system; vocational education; academic education; rational action theory; cultural heritage (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur, nep-mig and nep-ure
Date: 2017-06
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

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