Ethnic Origin or Residential Location: Educational Labour Market Attainment of Young People of Immigrant Background in France

By Romain Aeberhardt, Roland Rathelot, Mirna Safi, Catriona Dutreuilh

The poor educational outcomes and labour market difficulties of ethnic minorities are often attributed to their residential location and their segregation in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. In this article, we seek to determine whether the educational and employment trajectories of young people with at least one parent born in North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa or in the Middle East are equivalent to those of young people whose parents were both born in France, holding sociodemographic characteristics and place of residence constant. To this end, we exploit fine-scale geolocation data at the level of the infra-communal census district (IRIS) provided by the 1998 and 2004 Génération surveys. The specifications used in the regression models enable us to measure the effect of the origin variable after controlling for a wide range of individual variables and for the geographic fixed effect at the IRIS level (conditional logit). Our results highlight the large differences between the children of African immigrants and the children of French-born parents. These differences persist even after controlling for geographic effects.


  • immigration
  • second-generation immigrants
  • labour market
  • education
  • inequalities
  • segregation
  • discrimination
  • France
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