A multilevel analysis of returns to education in labour market among ethno-religious minorities in England and Wales

Nabil Khattab, University of Bristol
Ibrahim Sirkeci, European Business School London
Tariq Modood, University of Bristol
Ron Johnston, University of Bristol, Geography

It is widely accepted that education is the most important factor in determining one's social class and chances of upward mobility in modern societies. In Britain and other western countries, the main channel through which education shapes one's social mobility chances is the labour market. In previous studies on ethnicity and transition from school to work, it has been pointed out that minorities are likely to face ethnic penalties while entering the labour market. The empirical evidence from Britain suggests that people from Indian and Chinese backgrounds are doing as good as the white majority in many aspects, if not better, whereas people from Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds have a lower levels of achievement in terms of education and employment than the white majority. In this paper, drawing on data obtained from the 2001 UK census (CAMS data), we carry out a new multi-level analysis to explore the influence of the ethno-religious background on the one hand and neighbourhood-based factors such as ethnic segregation and levels of deprivations on the other hand on the transition from school to work in England and Wales. In addition, in this paper we are introducing new way to operationalise the transition from school to work by taking into account in the same variable both the educational level that a person has and his or her occupational level as reported in the census. Out of these two variables, we have calculate a score that runs between minus four (-4) and plus four (+4) with 0 to indicate the perfect match between education and employment (for further explanations the reader is referred to the methodology section). The scale indicates the returns to education with -4 indicating the lowest returns and +4 indicating the highest returns.

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Presented in Session 65: Economic determinants and effects of international migration