Background characteristics account for lower wages second generation

30/11/2010 15:00

Hourly wages of people with a non-western background working in the private sector tend to be lower than the wages of their native Dutch counterparts. Wage differences are smaller in the first than in the second generation. The lower hourly wages of people with a non-western background of the second generation can be explained by taking into account the differences in background characteristics.

Wage differences second generation mainly due to age and education level

The average wage level of second generation people with a non-western background is 28 percent below the level of people with a native Dutch background. Age differences and education level account for 84 and 7 percent respectively. The second generation are younger and lower educated than their native Dutch counterparts. Older and higher educated people generally earn more than younger and lower educated people.

Factors explaining the wage differences between second generation people with a non-western background and native Dutch employed in the private sector, 2008

Factors explaining the wage differences between second generation people with a non-western background and native Dutch employed in the private sector, 2008

Lower wages first generation due to lower level of education and occupation

On average, wages of people with a non-western background belonging to the second generation are 20 percent lower than the wages of their native Dutch counterparts. This is partly due to the fact that the educational and occupational level of the first generation is lower than that of native Dutch. Unlike the second generation, background differences do not fully account for the wage differences in the first generation. Even if personal and occupational differences are taken into account, first generation people with a non-western background still earn 8 percent less than native Dutch.

Chantal Wagner and Ineke Bottelberghs