We use data from the Trajectoires et Origines survey to analyze the labor-market outcomes of both second-generation immigrants and their French native counterparts. Second-generation immigrants have on average a lower probability of employment and lower wages than French natives. We find however considerable differences between second-generation immigrants depending on their origin: while those originating from Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Turkey are less likely to be employed and receive lower wages than French natives, second-generation immigrants with Asian or Southern- and Eastern-European origins do not differ significantly from their French native counterparts. The employment gap between French natives and second generation immigrants is mainly explained by differences in their education; education is also an important determinant of the ethnic wage gap. Finally we show that these differences in educational attainment are mainly explained by family background. Although the role of discrimination cannot be denied, our findings do point out the importance of family background in explaining lifelong ethnic inequalities.

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