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Author: Das, Sujoy
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1. Das, Sujoy
Educational Attainment: A Comparative Analysis of Asians vs. Traditional Minorities
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, Clark University, 2010
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): Cognitive Ability; College Enrollment; Educational Aspirations/Expectations; Educational Attainment; Educational Returns; Ethnic Differences; Family Background; Family Income; Family Influences; Gender Differences; High School Diploma; Racial Differences

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Evidence show that there exist disparities in educational attainment levels between Whites and the minorities. In general, African Americans and Hispanics attain lower levels of education than Whites while Asians, on average have educational levels that even surpass the Whites.

Whites and different minority groups approach their education in different ways due to their upbringing and differences in culture. The aim of this research is to investigate the role of family income and family background characteristics on educational attainment of individuals. This analysis focuses on grade 9 completion, high school graduation, and college enrollment behavior for both males and females by ethnicity/race. In particular, this study compares the schooling attainment behavior of Asians with the other three ethnic/racial groups. Variables related to family income, family background, cognitive ability, and income returns to education are studied to see their effect on the schooling choices of Asians and how that compares to Whites and the other minority groups over time, as it is important to determine and understand the factors that primarily contribute to the outstanding educational success of Asians. The educational attainment models are estimated using Probit method with the data taken from three different sources namely NLSY97, CPS (1980 and 2000) and Census (1980 and 2000).

The results show that the influence of Asian mothers' schooling on their child's education is substantially lower than the mothers from the other three ethnic/racial groups and this could possibly be due to their higher overall expectations for their children compared to the other three groups, as the sole interest of Asian parents lie in their child's education and academic accomplishments. Family income has a positive and significant influence on achieving education for all racial/ethnic groups in 1980 and 2000. The effect decreases in most cases from 1980 to 2000 for all groups which could suggest less reliance on family income and availability of other sources of financing education and also increased importance of attaining higher levels of education. Income returns to education has a greater impact on grade 9 and high school completion for both Blacks and Hispanics in most cases compared to Whites and Asians, suggesting higher educational and earnings aspirations for the latter two groups.

Bibliography Citation
Das, Sujoy. Educational Attainment: A Comparative Analysis of Asians vs. Traditional Minorities. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, Clark University, 2010.