Life after High School: Transitions to Work and College for Immigrant Youth in the New Millennium

Krista Perreira, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dohoon Lee, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kathleen Mullan Harris, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The acquisition of human capital through school and work is an important determinant of the economic success of immigrant and native-born youth. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), this paper examines patterns of human capital accumulation chosen by the first and second generation children of immigrants after leaving high school and contrasts these patterns with those of native-born youth. Consistent with segmented assimilation theory, we allow effects to vary by race-ethnicity. We find that the vast majority of Hispanic and White youth, leave high school to work. Relatively few enroll in a 2-4 year college. Asian youth are most likely to leave high school and enter college. Multinomial logits showed that these post-secondary school and work participation patterns varied significantly by country of origin and the forms of capital available to immigrants in their families, schools, and communities.

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Presented in Poster Session 3