Skip to content

Lutz paper examining educational inequalities in two national systems published in JEMS

Feb 24, 2017

Amy Lutz

Amy Lutz

This paper aims to compare the educational outcomes of children of immigrants in France and in the United States to highlight the ethnic educational inequalities in both countries. The comparison focuses on children from two groups: North Africans in France and Mexicans in the United States. By using two longitudinal datasets, the French Educational Panel Survey and Add Health, the authors examine aspirations, expectations, and secondary attainment in the two contexts. They explore in particular the role of parental education on attainment.

Immigrant families have high educational aspirations in both contexts. North-African families express higher aspirations than native French with similar background, while there are no significant differences between second-generation Mexicans and the majority group net of parental education. Second-generation children are disadvantaged in school in both countries; they are more likely to drop out and less likely to graduate from high school, but most of the disadvantage is related to their social background. Net of social background, the Mexican second generation does not differ from the majority group while the North African second generation is more likely to get the French high school diploma than their peers of French origins, in line with their high aspirations. However, North Africans are more likely to receive the technological baccalauréat than the general baccalauréat.