Intergenerational Social Mobility among the Second Generation in Europe

Mauricio Bucca , European University Institute
Lucas G. Drouhot, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

This article investigates social mobility trajectories among the second generation immigrant compared to their native counterparts in European countries. The destiny of the so-called second generation is, we argue, the true yardstick of immigrant incorporation in European societies. In doing so we bring together two largely disconnected literatures, namely the study of ethnic penalties by immigration scholars and the study of relative social mobility by stratification scholars. We use data from 5 rounds of the European Social Survey (2008-2016) for the 7 European countries that exhibit a sizeable second generation immigrant population, namely Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden. In terms of methods, we rely on log-linear and log-multiplicative moels for the study of relative mobility, and multinomial logistic models for the study of ethnic penalties. Two main findings stand out clearly: first, we find that class of origins matters the same for the socioeconomic destination of both natives and second generation immigrants, contradicting hypothesis of an ``perverse openness'' among the latter. Second, we find no evidence of ethnic penalties, as natives and immigrants of comparable social origins exhibit similar socioeconomic achievement. Thus, the poorer the socioeconomic standings of natives and second generation immigrants largely reflect their poorer social origins but not truncated opportunities based on immigrant status.

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 Presented in Session 66. Immigrants' Socio-Economic Trajectories