Slipping through the Cracks of a Welfare State: Children of Immigrants in Finland

Laura Ansala, Ulla Hämäläinen, Matti Sarvimäki

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperProfessional


We document large differences in educational attainment, criminal sentences and use of psychotropic medication between the children of immigrants and natives living in Finland. Among the offspring of immigrants from the OECD countries and the former Soviet Union, the disadvantage in education reverses and differences in criminal sentences disappear once we condition on parental income and location of residence. In contrast, large gaps remain for the children of immigrants from other regions, even conditional on background characteristics. Furthermore, the children of immigrants from all source areas are substantially less likely to use psychotropic medication than the offspring of natives despite their higher self-reported mental health problems. These results suggest that institutions designed to help disadvantaged natives do not fully reach the children of immigrants.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity College London
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameDiscussion Paper Series
PublisherCentre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London


  • children of immigrants
  • second-generation immigrants
  • education
  • crime
  • health


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