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Foreign-Born Teaching Assistants and the Academic Performance of Undergraduates

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  • George J. Borjas

Abstract

The large literature that analyzes the impact of immigration on the United States typically focuses on measuring the labor market and fiscal consequences. This literature, however, has ignored the impact of immigration on other sectors of society. One sector that is of great interest is the American university, where the share of nonresident aliens in the graduate student population rose from 5.5 percent in 1976 to 10.5 percent in 1996. Despite the rapid growth in the number of foreign students, little is known about their impact on the educational process. Nevertheless, undergraduates frequently complain that the lack of English language proficiency among many foreign-born Teaching Assistants affects adversely their understanding of the material. This paper addresses the question that is at the heart of these complaints: Do foreign-born teaching assistants have an adverse impact on the scholastic achievement of American undergraduates? To provide empirical evidence on this issue, I use data drawn from a survey of undergraduates enrolled in economics principles classes at a large public university. The data suggest that foreign-born Teaching Assistants have an adverse impact on the class performance of undergraduate students.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.90.2.355
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 90 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 355-359

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:2:p:355-359

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.2.355
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References

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  1. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ehrenberg, R.G.Ronald G., 2004. "Econometric studies of higher education," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 19-37.
  2. Florian Hoffmann & Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Professor Qualities and Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 12596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eric Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2004. "Do College Instructors Matter? The Effects of Adjuncts and Graduate Assistants on Students' Interests and Success," NBER Working Papers 10370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Melania Salazar-Ordóñez & Carlos García-Alonso & Gabriel Perez-Alcalá, 2011. "Wage Gaps And Migrantion Costs: An Analysis From Simulation Data," ERSA conference papers ersa11p347, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Daniel Hamermesh & Amy M. Parker, 2003. "Beauty in the Classroom: Professors' Pulchritude and Putative Pedagogical Productivity," NBER Working Papers 9853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Furtado, Delia & Hock, Heinrich, 2008. "Immigrant Labor, Child-Care Services, and the Work-Fertility Trade-Off in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3506, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2005. "Do Faculty Serve as Role Models? The Impact of Instructor Gender on Female Students," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 152-157, May.
  8. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Parker, Amy, 2005. "Beauty in the classroom: instructors' pulchritude and putative pedagogical productivity," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 369-376, August.
  9. Maria, De Paola, 2008. "Does Teacher Quality Affect Student Performance? Evidence from an Italian University," MPRA Paper 8841, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Antonio Spilimbergo, 2007. "Democracy and Foreign Education," IMF Working Papers 07/51, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Foster, Gigi, 2012. "The impact of international students on measured learning and standards in Australian higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 587-600.
  12. Heinrich Hock & Delia Furtado, 2009. "Female Work and Fertility in the United States: Effects of Low-Skilled Immigrant Labor," Working papers 2009-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  13. Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 2004. "Prospects in the Academic Labor Market for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 227-238, Spring.
  14. George J. Borjas, 2004. "Do Foreign Students Crowd Out Native Students from Graduate Programs?," NBER Working Papers 10349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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