Education Acquisition with a Migration Background in the Life Course

Research question/goal: 

As part of so-called Pillar 4 “Education Acquisition with Migration Background in the Life Course”, the project is a core component of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). Problems of ethnic penalties and their (causal) linkage to general mechanisms of educational inequality are emphasized in addition to other main foci of NEPS. Prior research has shown that pupils with a migration background show lower school competencies, end up in less advantageous educational tracks, and receive lower returns than peers without a migration background. Some hypotheses and mechanisms have been tested in recent analyses. Conflicting theoretical explanations of these inequalities have been proposed. But appropriate data for severe tests of these mechanisms are missing to date – at least in the case of Germany. Helping to close that gap is one central aim of this project within NEPS. To this end, the working group at the MZES designs instruments to measure ethnic resources and cultural orientations, especially Social Capital, Segmented Assimilation, Identity, Acculturation, Religion, and Transnationalism. These instruments are applied in several NEPS studies from kindergarten to lifelong learning.

Current stage: 

In 2013, we developed immigrant specific instruments for all NEPS sub-studies. In total, we contributed items to more than 15 sub-studies. Particular attention was given to the generation of preload data in order to ease interviewing situations for respondents of immigrant origin by means of reasonable filter and dependent wording procedures. We furthermore cross-checked and prepared data for the release of several scientific use files. A methodological paper analyzing the role of interviewer language for response liabilities of immigrants has been presented at the 5th ESRA conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Fact sheet

University of Bamberg (NEPS) / BMBF
2008 to 2016
Data Sources: 
Primary Data Collection
Geographic Space: