Project in detail

Ethnic Inequality in Access to Dual Vocational Education

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The project aims to explain migrants’ lower access rates to apprenticeship entry level positions in Germany. To that end a theoretical model was developed that combines economic and sociological theories. The derived mechanisms derived from a broad version of human-capital theory, economic search-cost and matching models combined with sociological theories of institutional discrimination and educational choice is empirically tested using a unique dataset, covering all ca. 10’000 applicants to over 800 vocational training program positions of a large production plant in Germany. Due to the richness of the data the study can shed light on the complex interplay of several mechanisms that explain a large share of the observable disadvantages of migrants. Past research focused mainly on low human capital endowments (e.g. school degrees, grades), lack of receiving country specific language skills and social networks, and disadvantaged social origin to explain the disadvantages of migrants. Specifying the developed more comprehensive theoretical model, I can show that the employer’ perception of applicants’ productivity, the timing of application within the business cycle as well as ‘Simpson Paradox’ type self-selection into job fields play a pivotal role. The results of this project have been published in a monograph (Springer).

Publications arisen from this project:
  • Hunkler, Christian (2013): Fehlende Ressourcen oder Diskriminierung? Ethnische Ungleichheit beim Zugang zu Ausbildungsplätzen im dualen System

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