Schnell, Philipp; Azzolini, Davide
Migration Studies, Volume 3, Issue 2, 217-240
Publication year: 2015

This article examines academic achievements of immigrant youths in four new immigration countries: Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The analysis based on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) of 2009 and 2012 reveals large educational achievement gaps between immigrant children and natives in all four south European countries. The achievement gaps shrink substantially after accounting for differences in family backgrounds. The drawbacks faced by immigrant children in these four new immigration countries are due to fewer economic and material resources being available to them. On the other hand, the educational background of parents does not account for immigrant−native differences in academic performance. This stands in contrast to many traditional European immigration countries in which a lack of educational resources explains larger parts of the educational disadvantages of immigrant children. Our findings provide empirical evidence for the very precarious socio-economic integration of adult immigrants in new destination countries who, despite their relatively strong educational credentials, are placed into the lowest occupational positions. Such weak occupational attainments among the parental generation translate into a lack of material resources and investments available to families to foster their children’s education.