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The Rise of the Second Generation: Aspirations, Motivations and Academic Success of Chinese Immigrants' Children in Hong Kong

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionXu, Duoduo, and Xiaogang Wu. 2015. "The Rise of the Second Generation: Aspirations, Motivations and Academic Success of Chinese Immigrants' Children in Hong Kong." PSC Research Report No. 15-852. 12 2015.

Most studies adopt the culture perspective to explain the second-generation immigrants' advantage in education, paying little attention to immigrants' selectivity based on unmeasured psychological attributes. We identify four subjective factors that could contribute to immigrants' outstanding performance, and employ mediation analysis to examine how much of the effect of immigrant status on academic achievement is mediated through these factors. We examine the self-selection hypothesis in the context of Hong Kong, as its unique setting enables us to control for the effect of cultural factors and focus on the selectivity effect. The analysis of 2003 PISA data confirm that, having strong motivations to find a better life and high aspirations for upward mobility can largely explain immigrant children's academic success, with educational aspiration playing a particularly important role.

Country of focus: China.

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