Immigration Background and Differences in School-to- work Trajectories of Early School Leavers
Keywords:Gender, Ethnicity, Age and Diversity
This article focuses on the school-to-work trajectories of early school leavers in Sweden. I use sequence analysis of population-level registry data covering the first 10 years after compulsory school for 6404 early school leavers to identify four clusters of school-to-work trajectories: an exclusion trajectory characterized by not being in employment, education, or training; an education trajectory characterized by second-chance education and an increasing share of tertiary education; a precarity trajectory; and a career trajectory. Having an immigrant background or being a woman was associated with a lower likelihood of being in the career trajectory than having a non-immigrant background or being a man. Differences in the likelihood of being in the education trajectory between persons with immigrant and non-immigrant background could however be fully explained by parents’ education, if education level was measured relative to their country of origin. This highlights the importance of pre-migration factors for post-migration outcomes
Achatz, J., Jahn, K. & Schels, B. (2020) On the non-standard routes: vocational training measures in the school-to-work transitions of lower-qualified youth in Germany, Journal of Vocational Education & Training:1-22. doi: 10.1080/13636820.2020.1760335.
Ahmadi, F., Palm, I. & Ahmadi, N. (2016) Mångfaldsbarometern 2016. FOU-rapport 44 [The Diversity Barometer 2016. Research and Development Report 44], Gävle: Gävle University Press.
Aisenbrey, S., & Fasang, A.E. (2010) New Life for Old Ideas: The "Second Wave" of Sequence Analysis Bringing the "Course" Back Into the Life Course, Sociological Methods & Research 38 (3):420-462. doi: 10.1177/0049124109357532.
Albæk, K., Asplund, R., Barth, E., Lindahl, L., von Simson, K., & Vanhala, P. (2015) Youth unemployment and inactivity: A comparison of school-to-work transitions and labour market outcomes in four Nordic countries. TemaNord 2015:548, Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.
Arai, M., Bursell, M., & Nekby, L. (2016) The Reverse Gender Gap in Ethnic Discrimination: Employer Stereotypes of Men and Women with Arabic Names, International Migration Review 50 (2):385-412. doi: 10.1111/imre.12170.
Arai, M., & Thoursie, P. S. (2009) Renouncing Personal Names: An Empirical Examination of Surname Change and Earnings, Journal of Labor Economics 27 (1):127-147. doi: 10.1086/593964.
Bäckman, O., Jakobsen, V., Lorentzen, T., Österbacka, E., & Dahl, E. (2011) Dropping out in Scandinavia: Social Exclusion and Labour Market Attachment among Upper Secondary School Dropouts in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Arbetsrapport 2011:8, Stockholm: The Institute for Future Studies.
Barro, R., & Lee, J.-W. (2013) A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World, 1950-2010, Journal of Development Economics 104:184-98. doi: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2012.10.001.
Behtoui, A. (2008) Informal Recruitment Methods and Disadvantages of Immigrants in the Swedish Labour Market, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 34 (3):411-30. doi: 10.1080/13691830701880251.
Behtoui, A., Björklöf, M., & Strömberg, I. (2018) The Social Relations and Educational Expectations of Young People in Marginalised Areas: Evidence from Sweden. In Comparative Perspectives on Early School Leaving in the European Union, Vol. 1, edited by Lore van Praag, Ward Nouwen, Rut van Caudenberg, Noel Clycq and Christiane Timmerman. London: Routledge.
Behtoui, A., Hertzberg, F., Jonsson, R., Rosales, R.L., & Neergaard, A. (2019) Sweden: The Otherization of the Descendants of Immigrants. In The Palgrave Handbook of Race and Ethnic Inequalities in Education, edited by Peter A.J. Stevens and A. Gary Dworkin, 1001-37, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Berggren, C. (2013) The Influence of Gender, Social Class and National Background on Education and Work Career?, Nordic Journal of Migration Research 3 (3):135-44. doi: 10.2478/njmr-2013-0005.
Bourdieu, P. (1986) The Forms of Capital. In Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, edited by John G. Richardson, 241-258, New York: Greenwood.
Brandén, M., Birkelund, G.E., & Szulkin, R. (2018) Ethnic Composition of Schools and Students’ Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Sweden, International Migration Review 53 (2):486-517. doi: 10.1177/0197918318769314.
Brandén, M., Hällsten, M., & Szulkin, R. (2016) The Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Education and Labor Market Gaps Between Children of Natives and Children of Immigrants. Department of Sociology Working Paper, Stockholm: Stockholm University.
Bratsberg, B., Nyen, T., & Raaum, O. (2019) Adult Vocational Qualifications Reduce the Social Gradient in Education, Social Inclusion 7 (3):95–109. doi: 10.17645/si.v7i3.2026.
Brzinsky-Fay, C. (2007) Lost in Transition? Labour Market Entry Sequences of School Leavers in Europe, European Sociological Review 23 (4):409-22. doi: 10.1093/esr/jcm011.
Brzinsky-Fay, C. (2014) The Measurement of School-to-work Transitions as Processes, European Societies 16 (2):213-32. doi: 10.1080/14616696.2013.821620.
Brzinsky-Fay, C., & Solga, H. (2016) Compressed, postponed, or disadvantaged? School-to-work-transition patterns and early occupational attainment in West Germany, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 46:21-36. doi: 10.1016/j.rssm.2016.01.004.
Buchmann, C., DiPrete, T.A., & McDaniel, A. (2008) Gender Inequalities in Education, Annual Review of Sociology 34:319-37. doi: 10.1146/annurev.soc.34.040507.134719
Cederberg, M., & Hartsmar, N. (2013) Some Aspects of Early School Leaving in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, European Journal of Education 48 (3):378-389. doi: 10.1111/ejed.12036.
Côté, J.E. (2014) The Dangerous Myth of Emerging Adulthood: An Evidence-Based Critique of a Flawed Developmental Theory, Applied Developmental Science 18 (4):177-188. doi: 10.1080/10888691.2014.954451.
Dorsett, R., & Lucchino, P. (2014) Explaining patterns in the school-to-work transition: An analysis using optimal matching, Advances in Life Course Research 22:1-14. doi: 10.1016/j.alcr.2014.07.002.
Elder, G.H. (1994) Time, Human Agency, and Social Change: Perspectives on the Life Course, Social Psychology Quarterly 57 (1):4-15.
Elffers, L. (2012) One foot out the school door? Interpreting the risk for dropout upon the transition to post-secondary vocational education, British Journal of Sociology of Education 33 (1):41-61. doi: 10.1080/01425692.2012.632866.
Engzell, P. (2019) Aspiration Squeeze: The Struggle of Children to Positively Selected Immigrants, Sociology of Education 92 (1):83-103. doi: 10.1177/0038040718822573.
Feliciano, C., & Lanuza, Y.R. (2017) An Immigrant Paradox? Contextual Attainment and Intergenerational Educational Mobility, American Sociological Review 82 (1):211-41. doi: 10.1177/0003122416684777.
Feliciano, C., & Lanuza, Y.R. (2018) The Immigrant Advantage in Adolescent Educational Expectations, International Migration Review 50 (3):758-92. doi: 10.1111/imre.12183.
Granovetter, M. (1995) Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers. 2nd ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Gullestad, M. (2002) Invisible Fences: Egalitarianism, Nationalism and Racism, The Journal of The Royal Anthropological Institute 1 (8):45-63. doi: 10.1111/1467-9655.00098.
Gustafsson, B., & Österberg, T. (2018) How are Immigrant Children in Sweden Faring? Mean Income, Affluence and Poverty Since the 1980s, Child Indicators Research 11 (1):329-353. doi: 10.1007/s12187-016-9416-9.
Högskoleverket (2003) Etableringen på arbetsmarknaden. Högskoleverkets rapportserie 2003:7 R [Establishment in the labour market. Reports from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education 2003:7 R], Stockholm: Högskoleverket.
Holtmann, A.C., Menze, L, & Solga, H. (2017) Persistent Disadvantages or New Opportunities? The Role of Agency and Structural Constraints for Low-Achieving Adolescents' School-to-Work Transitions, Journal of Youth and Adolescence 46 (10):2091-2113. doi: 10.1007/s10964-017-0719-z.
Huddleston, T., Bilgili, O., Joki, A.-L., & Vankova, Z. (2015) Migrant Integration Policy Index 2015.
Ichou, M. (2014) Who They Were There: Immigrants' Educational Selectivity and Their Children's Educational Attainment, European Sociological Review 30 (6):750-765. doi: 10.1093/esr/jcu071.
Jonsson, J.O., Grusky, D.B., Di Carlo, M., Pollak, R., & Brinton, M.C. (2009) Microclass Mobility: Social Reproduction in Four Countries, American Journal of Sociology 114 (4):977-1036. doi: 10.1086/596566.
Jonsson, J.O., & Rudolphi, F. (2011) Weak Performance—Strong Determination: School Achievement and Educational Choice among Children of Immigrants in Sweden, European Sociological Review 27 (4):487. doi: 10.1093/esr/jcq021.
Kindlund, H., & Biterman, D. (2002) Chapter 3. Work and the labour market, International Journal of Social Welfare 11:S16–S40. doi: 10.1111/1468-2397.11.s3.4.
Kohler, U., Luniak, M., & Brzinsky-Fay, C. (2006) SQ: Stata module for sequence analysis. Boston College Department of Economics.
Legewie, J., & DiPrete, T.A. (2012) School Context and the Gender Gap in Educational Achievement, American Sociological Review 77 (3):463-85. doi: 10.1177/0003122412440802.
Lesnard, L. (2010) Setting Cost in Optimal Matching to Uncover Contemporaneous Socio-Temporal Patterns, Sociological Methods & Research 38 (3):389-419. doi: 10.1177/0049124110362526.
Likic-Brboric, B., Slavnic, Z., & Woolfson, C. (2013) Labour migration and informalisation: East meets West, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 33 (11/12):677-92. doi: 10.1108/ijssp-10-2012-0087.
Lindblad, M., & Lundahl, L. (2020) Winding Paths through School and After: Young Swedes of Migrant Origin Who Failed in Upper Secondary School. In Youth on the Move: Tendencies and Tensions in Youth Policies and Practices, edited by Kristiina Brunila and Lisbeth Lundahl, 79-99, Helsinki: Helsinki University Press.
Lorentzen, T, Bäckman, O., Ilmakunnas, I., & Kauppinen, T. (2018) Pathways to Adulthood: Sequences in the School-to-Work Transition in Finland, Norway and Sweden, Social Indicators Research 141 (3):1285-305. doi: 10.1007/s11205-018-1877-4.
Lundahl, L., Lindblad, M., Lovén, A., Mårald, G., & Svedberg, G. (2017) No particular way to go, Journal of Education and Work 30 (1):39-52. doi: 10.1080/13639080.2015.1122179.
Lundahl, L., & Olofsson, J. (2014) Guarded transitions? Youth trajectories and school-to-work transition policies in Sweden, International Journal of Adolescence and Youth 19 (sup1):19-34. doi: 10.1080/02673843.2013.852593.
McCall, L. (2005) The Complexity of Intersectionality, Signs 30 (3):1771-800. doi: 10.1086/426800.
Middeldorp, M.M., Edzes, A.J.E, & van Dijk, J. (2019) Smoothness of the School-to-Work Transition: General versus Vocational Upper-Secondary Education, European Sociological Review 35 (1):81-97. doi: 10.1093/esr/jcy043.
Mood, C. (2010) Logistic Regression: Why We Cannot Do What We Think We Can Do, and What We Can Do About It, European Sociological Review 26 (1):67-82. doi: 10.1093/esr/jcp006.
Myrberg, G. (2010) Who is an Immigrant? In Diversity, Inclusion and Citizenship in Scandinavia, edited by Bo Bengtsson, Per Strömblad and Ann-Helén Bay, 47-74, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Nygård, O. (2017) Early tracking and immigrant optimism: a comparative study of educational aspirations among students in disadvantaged schools in Sweden and the Netherlands, Comparative Migration Studies 5 (1):20. doi: 10.1186/s40878-017-0063-1.
Nygård, O. (2021) Pre-Migration Status, Social Capital, and the Educational Aspirations of Children of Immigrants in Disadvantaged Swedish Schools, Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research:1-14. doi: 10.1080/00313831.2021.1897878.
Nygård, O., & Behtoui, A. (2020) Access to Social Capital and Educational Returns for Children of Immigrants: Evidence from Three Swedish Studies, Nordic Journal of Migration Research 10 (2):50–66. doi: 10.33134/njmr.248.
Phoenix, A. (2004) Neoliberalism and Masculinity, Youth & Society 36 (2):227-46. doi: 10.1177/0044118x04268377.
Roth, T. (2018) The influence of parents’ social capital on their children’s transition to vocational training in Germany, Social Networks 55:74-85. doi: 10.1016/j.socnet.2018.05.006.
Rousseeuw, P.J. (1987) Silhouettes: A graphical aid to the interpretation and validation of cluster analysis, Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics 20:53-65. doi: 10.1016/0377-0427(87)90125-7.
Schoon, I., & Duckworth, K. (2010) Leaving School Early - and Making It! Evidence From Two British Birth Cohorts, European Psychologist 15 (4):283-92. doi: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000063.
Schoon, I., & Lyons-Amos, M. (2016) Diverse pathways in becoming an adult: The role of structure, agency and context, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 46:11-20. doi: 10.1016/j.rssm.2016.02.008.
Skolinspektionen (2014) Kunskapsöversikt för studieavbrott i gymnasieskolan. [Knowledge overview on interruptions in upper secondary education].
Skolverket (2013) Beskrivande data 2012. Förskola, skola och vuxenutbildning. Rapport 383 [Descriptive data 2012. Pre-school, school, and adult education. Report 383]. Stockholm: Fritzes.
Statistics Sweden (2017a) Olika levnadsvillkor för barn med svensk och utländsk bakgrund [Different living conditions for children with Swedish and foreign background].
Statistics Sweden (2017b) Temarapport 2017:4. Unga utanför? Så har det gått på arbetsmarknaden för 90-talister utan fullföljd gymnasie utbildning [Theme report 2017:4. Young people left behind? The situation on the labour market for those born in the 1990s without completed upper secondary education], Örebro: SCB.
Statistics Sweden (2018) Hur gick det för eleverna som var obehöriga till gymnasieskolan? [What happened to the students lacking qualifications to upper secondary school?].
Strømme, T.B. (2020) Educational aspirations and decisions in Barcelona, Spain and Bergen, Norway: the significance of class and class fractions, Journal of Youth Studies:1-22. doi: 10.1080/13676261.2020.1741526.
Struffolino, E., & Borgna, C. (2020) Who is really ‘left behind’? Half a century of gender differences in the school-to-work transitions of low-educated youth, Journal of Youth Studies:1-24. doi: 10.1080/13676261.2020.1713308.
Thaning, M., & Hällsten, M. (2020) The End of Dominance? Evaluating Measures of Socio-Economic Background in Stratification Research, European Sociological Review 36 (4):533–47. doi: 10.1093/esr/jcaa009.
Universitetskanslersämbetet (2015) Etableringen på arbetsmarknaden för högskoleutbildade 2013: Examinerade läsåren 2011/12, 2009/10 och 2007/08. Rapport 2015:26 [Establishment in the labour market for people with university education in 2013: Exams from academic years 2011/12, 2009/10, and 2007/2008. Report 2015:26], Stockholm: Universitetskanslersämbetet.
Van Caudenberg, R., Van Praag, L., Nouwen, W., Clycq, N., & Timmerman, C. (2017) A Longitudinal Study of Educational Trajectories of Youth at Risk of Early School Leavin,. Antwerp: Centre for Migration and Intercultural Studies.
Van Praag, L., & Clycq, N. (2019) Going to work without educational qualifications: school-to-work transitions of early school leavers in Belgium, Journal of Youth Studies 23 (4):465-80. doi: 10.1080/13676261.2019.1620926.
Vogt, K.C., Lorentzen, T., & Hansen, H.-T. (2020) Are low-skilled young people increasingly useless, and are men the losers among them?, Journal of Education and Work 33 (5-6):392-409. doi: 10.1080/13639080.2020.1820965.
Zschirnt, E., & Ruedin, D. (2016) Ethnic discrimination in hiring decisions: a meta-analysis of correspondence tests 1990–2015, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 42 (7):1115-34. doi: 10.1080/1369183x.2015.1133279.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Author and Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The Copyright Holder of this Journal is the authors and the Journal. This Journal gives Open Access with CreativeCommons license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.
You can download all the content of the Journal and share it with others as long as you credit the authors and the journal, but you can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.
More specifically this license means that you – authors and users – may:
Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form as long as you follow the license terms. The freedom to share includes parallel publishing on authors’ own website and in institutional repositories or in ResearchGate after publication in NJWLS, or if you want to reprint your article as part of publication of a PhD-thesis or a dissertation
You may share under these terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the license. Appropriate credit implies that you provide the name of the creator and attribution parties, a copyright notice, a license notice, a disclaimer notice, and a link to the material. The link used should be its DOI.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. Merely changing the format never creates a derivative.
Exceptions to the license terms may be granted
If you want to use content in the Journal in another way then described by this license, you must contact the licensor and ask for permission. Contact Bo Carstens at firstname.lastname@example.org. Exceptions are always given for specific purposes and specific content only.
The Journal is listed as a blue journal in Sherpa/Romeo, meaning that the author can archive post-print ((ie final draft post-refereeing) and author can archive publisher's version/PDF.
Copyright of others
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere.
All published material is archived at Roskilde University Library, Denmark, and transmitted to the Danish Royal Library in conformity with the Danish rules of legal deposit.
We do not screen articles for plagiarism. It is the responsibility of the authors to make sure they do not plagiate.