Family Background and Higher Education Attainment Among Children of Immigrants

Mitzi K. Lauderdale, Stuart J. Heckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This study uses a modified form of Perna’s educational choice model (Studying college access and choice: A proposed conceptual model, Springer, Berlin, 2006) to examine whether children of immigrants have an “immigrant advantage” related to educational attainment. Children of immigrants represent approximately one in four children in the US and are the fastest growing segment of school-aged children. Using data from all 16 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997–2013), a random effects regression analysis indicated that children with at least one immigrant parent had a higher likelihood of higher education attainment. When separate regressions were run by race/ethnicity, the immigrant advantage was only present for Black and Hispanic respondents. Results presented evidence of omitted variable bias when modeling higher education attainment where parental immigration status was absent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-337
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Children of immigrants
  • College attainment
  • Higher education
  • Immigrant advantage


Dive into the research topics of 'Family Background and Higher Education Attainment Among Children of Immigrants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this