While many aspects of educational careers have been examined ill the literature on ethnic minorities, such as truancy, turnover and grades, downward mobility has rarely been studied. Using data on more than 10,000 students who entered secondary school in The Netherlands in 1989, we develop an event-history model for secondary school careers and we use this model to analyse the determinants of dropout and downward mobility simultaneously. Our findings show that students from Mediterranean and Caribbean immigrant families are about 3 times as likely to drop out from secondary school without a degree compared to Dutch children. They are also more likely to be downwardly mobile during their secondary school career, but this differential is weaker Compositional differences with respect to individual ability and parental resources explain a large part of these differences. When holding constant parental resources and individual ability, ethnic students are less likely to experience downward mobility than Dutch students. In other words, when there is failure in the school career Dutch children are more likely to follow the route of downward mobility whereas children from ethnic minorities are more likely to drop out altogether. The multitrack nature of the Dutch educational system thus may have a negative impact on ethnic inequality.
|Journal||Educational Research and Evaluation|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|