09 SES 04 A, A Closer Look at Migration. Findings on Attitudes, Outcomes, and Returns on Education
Empirical research on the effects of education has almost exclusively been confined to the estimation of monetary educational returns, for example in the form of income at the individual level and fiscal revenue at the societal level. However, there is also evidence of systematic associations between level of education and different non-monetary dimensions, such as physical health, psychological well-being and social participation (Engles et al. 2011; Nieminen et al. 2008; Lelkes 2011; Pichler & Wallace 2009). However, the question whether these associations can in fact be interpreted in terms of non-monetary returns to education – implying the existence of an actual causal effect of education net of monetary educational outcomes – remains to be addressed.
The project REdMig (Non-monetary Returns to Education in the Form of Social Inclusion: Estimation and Interdependence of Private and Social Returns to Education of Migrants and Non-migrants) has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with the objective to identify and (further) develop indicators to measure the long-term development of non-monetary educational returns for national reporting purposes. Building on the Second Federal Integration Indicators Report (Engels et al. 2011), which has identified several areas of life in which a convergence of the living conditions of migrants and non-migrants is considered a main priority, the project specifically aims to identify indicators for non-monetary educational returns in the form of the social inclusion (comprising the life areas “social participation” and “social networks”) of migrants and non-migrants.
The present contribution focuses on modeling educational effects on social participation specifically. In the Second Integration Indicators Report, several indicators have been defined to measure social participation, such as the membership in non-profit organizations and individual volunteerism. Also, the report provides results from OLS regressions to explain level of social participation, which point to a significant positive estimate of level of educational attainment even when factors like income and the family’s financial situation are controlled for. Further, the social participation of migrants is significantly lower compared to the participation of non-migrants even when level of education, income and other factors such as religious orientations are taken into account.
Yet, the question whether these indicators in fact constitute non-monetary returns to education remains open due to several methodological difficulties that have been neglected in the estimation of educational effects. More specifically, the estimates derived from OLS regressions must be expected to be systematically biased due to the negligence to explicitly take into account endogeneity and self-selection effects. In other words, the effects estimated in the Second Integration Indicators Report unlikely reflect the true causal effects of education on the different indicators for social participation. For instance, it is most likely not only the case that level of educational attainment influences social participation, but that social participation in turn influences level of education (Grootaert et al. 2004). Also, it is reasonable to assume that level of educational attainment is influenced by unobserved characteristics, such as social skills, that have a direct influence on social participation, which is – if not explicitly modeled – falsely ascribed to the effect of education (Greene 2008).
The contribution presents and discusses results obtained from alternative approaches to estimate the true causal effect of education on different forms of social participation on the one hand, and to identify systematic variations in this effect in the population with and without a migration background on the other hand.
Engels, D., Köller, R., Koopmans, R., & Höhne, J. (2011). Zweiter Integrationsindikatorenbericht. Erstellt für die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration. Köln, Berlin. Greene, W. H. (2008). Econometric analysis (6th ed). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall. Grootaert, C., Narayan, D., Jones, V. N., & Woolcock, M. (2004). Measuring Social Capital: An Integrated Questionnaire. Working Paper No. 18. Washington, D.C. Lelkes, O. (2011). Social Isolation. In Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales (Hrsg.), Vergleichende Analysen der Teilhabechancen in Europa (S. 102–113). Bonn: BMAS. Nieminen, T., Martelin, T., Koskinen, S., Simpura, J., Alanen, E., Härkänen, T., & Aromaa, A. (2008). Measurement and socio-demographic variation of social capital in a large population-based survey. Social Indicators Research, 85(3). Pichler, F., & Wallace, C. (2009). Social capital and social class in Eurpoe: The role of social networks in social stratification. European Sociological Review, 25(3).
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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