Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics

No 03-6: The educational attainment of the children of the Danish ‘guest worker’ immigrants

Vibeke Jakobsen () and Nina Smith ()
Additional contact information
Vibeke Jakobsen: The Danish National Institute of Social Research,
Nina Smith: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

Abstract: This paper analyses the educational attainment of young first generation immigrants in Denmark who are children of the ‘guest workers’ who immigrated from Turkey, Pakistan and Ex-Yugoslavia in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Beside the traditional intergenerational transmission mechanism, we analyse potential immigrant-specific factors as language proficiency, attending mother-tongue courses and expectations concerning out or return migration from Denmark. The results show that generational transmission effects are strong among ‘guest worker’ immigrants, especially among men. Other important factors are Danish language proficiency, age at first marriage and a number variables reflecting parents’ and own attitudes concerning education, marriage and family. However, the ‘guest worker’ immigrants are not a homogenous group. The analyses reveal large differences between Turkish, Pakistani and Ex-Jugoslavian ‘guest workers’ with respect to their educational success and the factors behind.

Keywords: Education; ‘guest worker’ immigrants; intergenerational transmission

JEL-codes: J24; J61

43 pages, February 1, 2003

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