Education Acquisition with a Migration Background in the Life Course

Research question/goal: 

As part of 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 and further develops instruments to measure ethnic resources and cultural orientations, especially social capital, segmented assimilation, identity, acculturation, religion, perceived discrimination, and transnationalism. These instruments are applied in several NEPS studies from kindergarten to lifelong learning.

Current stage: 

In 2016, we evaluated and refined migration-specific instruments, which were used in data collections for all six starting cohorts (from parents of young children to older adults). With the NEPS constantly progressing, scientific use files are now available for up to 7 waves. This is why a major focus in 2016 was on the evaluation of instruments from a longitudinal perspective and its subsequent documentation. Besides other adjustments, we introduced an additional measure for anticipated discrimination, which complements the existing module on perceived discrimination.

Fact sheet

Uni. of Bamberg / Fed. Ministry of Edu. & Research / LifBi
2008 to 2017
Data Sources: 
Primary Data Collection
Geographic Space: