Unequal Pathways. School-to-Work Trajectories for Children of Turkish and Western-Balkan Origin in Switzerland and Austria

Philipp Schnell 1  and Rosita Fibbi 1
  • 1 Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies, University of Neuchâtel, CH-2000 Neuchâtel


This paper investigates educational and occupational pathways of children of Turkish and Western-Balkan origin and of the majority population in Austria and Switzerland. Using a representative sample of 2186 respondents living in two Swiss and two Austrian urban areas, our results show that descendants of immigrants have less chances to follow a constant successful path from education to occupation in both countries, mainly because successful trajectories are determined by the parent’s socioeconomic status. However, young adults of Turkish and Western Balkan origin in Switzerland are more often upward mobile than the majority group. Altogether, our results indicate slightly greater chances for upward mobility among young adults in Switzerland in comparison to Austria.

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