Timing of Childhood Immigration and Children's Life Chances
47 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2014
Date Written: October 3, 2014
This article examines the relationship between the timing of childhood immigration and children’s life chances in adulthood. I analyze panel data on siblings from Norwegian administrative registries which enables me to disentangle the effect of age at arrival on adult socioeconomic outcomes from all fixed family-level conditions and endowments shared by siblings. Findings from sibling fixed-effects models reveal a progressively stronger adverse influence of immigration at later stages of childhood on children’s completed schooling, employment, adult earnings, occupational attainment, and social welfare assistance. The persistence of these relationships within families indicates that experiences related to the timing of childhood immigration have causal effects on later-life outcomes. The effect of age at arrival is heterogeneous across regions of origin. It is strong among childhood immigrants arriving from less-developed origin countries, but weak among children with background from developed countries. In sum, these findings indicate that the timing of childhood immigration after early-life formative periods can impose structural constraints on children’s human capital accumulation and labor market opportunities over the life course.
Keywords: age at arrival, immigration, life course, stratification, sibling fixed effects
JEL Classification: I20, J10, J15, J21, J24, J61, J71
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