IZA DP No. 7510: Neighbourhood Effects on Migrant Youth's Educational Commitments: An Enquiry into Personality Differences
published in: [Urban Studies], 2016.
In the neighbourhood effects literature, the socialisation mechanism is usually investigated by looking at the association between neighbourhood characteristics and educational attainment. The step in between, that adolescents actually internalise educational norms held by residents, is often assumed. We attempt to fill this gap by looking at how educational commitments are influenced by neighbourhood characteristics. We investigate this process for migrant youth, a group that lags behind in educational attainment compared to native youth, and might therefore be particularly vulnerable to neighbourhood effects. To test our hypothesis we used longitudinal panel data with five waves (N=4179), combined with fixed-effects models which control for a large portion of potential selection bias. These models have an advantage over naïve OLS models in that they predict the effect of change in neighbourhood characteristics on change in educational commitment, and therefore offer a more dynamic approach to modelling neighbourhood effects. Our results show that living in neighbourhoods with higher proportions of immigrants increases the educational commitments of migrant youth compared to living in neighbourhoods with lower proportions. Besides, we find that adolescents with a resilient personality experience less influence of the neighbourhood context on educational commitments than do adolescents with other personalities.