Graduation Year

2017

Date of Submission

4-2017

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Heather Antecol

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Rights Information

© 2017 Vanessa Liu

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of culture – measured by aggregate levels of an immigrant parent’s home country educational attainment – on the educational attainment of second-generation immigrants in America. I use 2005-2014 October U.S. Current Population Surveys (CPS) data and the Barro-Lee data set to match the educational attainment of second-generation immigrants to the educational attainment averages of the respective home country from which their parents emigrated. Overall, I find that second-generation immigrants’ educational attainment is significantly and positively affected by their immigrant parent’s home country educational attainment. This suggests that cultural norms, particularly those regarding education, may persist in immigrant families even after resettling in America. I also find that the effects of home country educational attainment on second-generation outcomes do not differ by the gender of the second-generation immigrant.

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