The Education of the Second Generation in Canada and Britain: What about Primary and Secondary Effects?

Laurence Lessard-Phillips, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Anthony Heath, University of Oxford

The goal of this paper is to assess a recent attempt to link school performance and the qualifications of the second generation, the primary and secondary effects explanation, by examining the education of the second generation at two different points (performance and overall attainment) in the second generation's schooling career in Canada and Britain and examining whether the explanation holds in light of the state of ethnic educational inequalities in the two countries. The analyses use four different data sources in order to investigate the applicability of PSE to the Canadian and British cases: the Youth in Transition Survey (C), the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (B), the Ethnic Diversity Survey (C) and the Longitudinal Study (B). The application of primary and secondary effects to second generation outcomes in Canada and Britain does appear to be supported by the results of the analyses, to a limited extent.

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Presented in Session 192: Immigrant Assimilation: Comparative Perspectives