‘I Feel Good, Thus I Could?’: Subjective Well-Being and Educational Attainment of Children of Immigrants and Their Native Peers in Italy

Angela Paparusso , Department of Political Sciences, Roma Tre University
Elena Ambrosetti, Sapienza Università di Roma
Giulia Bettin, Università Politecnica delle Marche
Eralba Cela, University of Milan

Children of immigrants are generally disadvantaged in education in most receiving European countries and this remains true even after controlling for their socio-economic status. The literature often focuses on objective indicators therefore it is difficult to know whether the educational disadvantage of migrant children is associated with lower perceived subjective well-being. In the Italian context, despite research on objective dimensions of immigrant children’ integration, indicators of subjective well-being remain little explored. In this paper, we aim to fill the above gap by analyzing how subjective well-being in different domains of life influences the educational attainment of both immigrant and native origin children residing in Italy, controlling for other relevant socio-demographic factors. We use data from the Survey on the “Integration of the Second Generation” carried out by Istat in 2015. The national representative sample includes 68,127 students interviewed in both lower and upper secondary schools. Around 47% of them are immigrant children without Italian citizenship. The largest share (72%) of immigrant children was born abroad, while the remaining part was born in Italy. The relationship between well-being and school outcomes will be explored by building indicators that account for different domains of well-being: school, family and social domain. A comparison between immigrant and native children will be carried out, in order to understand and explore the existence of possibly significant differences in either school performance and/or in the factors influencing it. The estimated empirical models will address endogeneity concerns, by means of both Instrumental Variable techniques and simultaneous equations models.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 66. Immigrants' Socio-Economic Trajectories