The Second Generation in Western Europe: Education, Unemployment, and Occupational Attainment

Posted: 6 Jun 2008

See all articles by Anthony Heath

Anthony Heath

University of Oxford - Department of Sociology

Catherine Rothon

University of London

Elina Kilpi

University of Oxford - Department of Sociology

Abstract

This paper reviews recent research in ten Western European countries on the educational and labor market outcomes of second-generation minorities. Minorities from less-developed origins appear to be particularly disadvantaged in education, access to the labor market, and occupational attainment. Disadvantages are most evident with test scores early in the school career, but in some countries minorities have higher continuation rates beyond the compulsory leaving age than do majority peers with similar test scores. Entry into the labor market is a particular problem for most minorities, with substantial ethnic penalties with respect to employment in all ten countries. There is a more mixed picture for occupational attainment: In some countries, we find cumulative disadvantages, whereas in others the barriers are greatest on entry into the labor market. We review possible explanations for the differences both between minorities and between countries.

Keywords: discrimination, social context, aspirations, ethnic penalty, minorities

Suggested Citation

Heath, Anthony and Rothon, Catherine and Kilpi, Elina, The Second Generation in Western Europe: Education, Unemployment, and Occupational Attainment. Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 34, August 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1142066

Anthony Heath (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of Sociology ( email )

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Catherine Rothon

University of London ( email )

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London, WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

Elina Kilpi

University of Oxford - Department of Sociology ( email )

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Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

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