The Educational Success and Labour-Market Integration of Immigrant Descendants in Europe

Roberto Impicciatore, Università di Bologna
Giuseppe Gabrielli , University Federico II of Naples

The children of migrants are an increasingly important component of Western European societies although their integration continues to be problematic. Socio-economical characteristics and ethnic identity influence their life trajectories, particularly in terms of educational and occupational performances; the offspring of immigrants and natives do not enjoy equal opportunities and they are not equally able to develop their potential. These traits apply both to longstanding immigration countries – where large shares of immigrant offspring are of working age – and to more recent immigration countries – where the children of migrants are mostly to be found in schools. Their reasons are difficult to grasp. Moreover, there has been little empirical research that, on the one hand, develops well-grounded systematic research explaining cross-national European variation in the educational disadvantages suffered by immigrants’ descendants, and, on the other hand, analyses which “hard” and “soft” barriers inhibit the integration of immigrant offspring in the labour market. This paper, which is part of more broadly collaborative research, reviews the most significant findings of a set of empirical research in the European context. In the first part, we focus on the micro-level processes shaping the educational trajectories of immigrant offspring, thereby focusing on the efficiency of educational systems and school policies in fostering their academic integration. In the second part, we review on ethnic inequalities in labour-market trajectories in selected European countries (France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain). We conclude by identifying a set of relevant research questions that remain unanswered and proposing recommendations for future research.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy