Mizrahi-Ashkenazi educational gaps in the third generation

Yinon Cohen*, Noah Lewin-Epstein, Amit Lazarus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This paper analyzes gaps in rates of obtaining higher educational degrees (B.A or higher) between third generation Ashkenazim and Mizrahim (the two major ethnic groups among Israeli Jews), in comparison to the same gaps among members of the second generation. The empirical analyses were performed using the 7th and 8th rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS). The data include information on the country of birth of parents and grandparents of respondents, thereby allowing identification of the ethnicity of the second and third generation (including the identification of persons of mixed ethnicity) for a representative sample of 775 men and women, 26–42 years of age in 2015-2017. The results suggest that the educational gaps between the two major ethnic groups are smaller in the third generation than in the second generation, especially among women. Academic education of persons of mixed ethnicity are in between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, but closer to Ashkenazim, especially in the third generation. Multivariate analyses suggest that parental background has a large effect on the probability of obtaining higher educational degrees, yet even when controlling for parental characteristics, Mizrahi men of either the second or third generation, are less likely to hold academic degrees than second generation Ashkenazim. We discuss the implications of these results for the future of ethnic based stratification in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Social Stratification and Mobility
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Educational gaps
  • Ethnicity
  • Israel
  • Third generation immigrants


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