Économie et Statistique n° 433-434 - 2010 Unequal Access to Higher Education - Employment and Wages of Immigrants' Children - Place of residence and Wage Discrimination - Does the CPI reflect Changes in th Cost of Living in France?
Employment and Wages of Immigrants' Children
Employment rates and wages are 18 and 13 points lower, respectively, for French persons with at least one immigrant parent from North Africa than for French persons both of whose parents are French-born. Our study seeks to determine the share of these gaps that can be attributed to educational attainment, place of residence, family status, and other factors. For this purpose, we begin by estimating employment and wage equations for the population of French persons whose parents are not immigrants. We then use these estimates to assign to French persons of North African origin “potential” employment levels and wages that take into account their observed individual characteristics. Special care is taken in addressing the selection that may affect access to employment. The results show that the fact that this population is, among other things, younger and less educated on average explains only 4 of the 18 points of the employment-rate gap. By contrast, observed differences in individual characteristics fully explain the wage gaps between the two groups. We find identical results when we analyze men and women separately. French people with at least one immigrant parent from southern Europe have employment rates equal to those of French persons neither of whose parents is an immigrant, and their wages are 2% lower. Here as well, the gap is totally explained by observable differences in characteristics between the two groups, notably by differences in educational attainment.