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Cracks in the Melting Pot: Immigration, School Choice, and Segregation

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  • Elizabeth U. Cascio
  • Ethan G. Lewis

Abstract

We examine whether low-skilled immigration to the United States has contributed to immigrants' residential isolation by reducing native demand for public schools. We address endogeneity in school demographics using established Mexican settlement patterns in California and use a comparison group to account for immigration's broader effects. We estimate that between 1970 and 2000, the average California school district lost more than 14 non-Hispanic households with children to other districts in its metropolitan area for every 10 additional households enrolling low-English Hispanics in its public schools. By disproportionately isolating children, the native reaction to immigration may have longer-run consequences than previously thought. (JEL H75, I21, J15, J24, J61, R23)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 91-117

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:91-117

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.3.91
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  1. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jacob Vigdor, 2004. "Is the Melting Pot Still Hot? Explaining the Resurgence of Immigrant Segregation," Working Papers 04-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. David Card, 1997. "Immigrant Inflows, Native Outflows, and the Local Labor Market Impacts of Higher Immigration," NBER Working Papers 5927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Elizabeth Cascio & Nora Gordon & Ethan Lewis & Sarah Reber, 2010. "Paying for Progress: Conditional Grants and the Desegregation of Southern Schools," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 445-482, February.
  4. Ferreira, Fernando, 2010. "You can take it with you: Proposition 13 tax benefits, residential mobility, and willingness to pay for housing amenities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 661-673, October.
  5. Doug Miller & A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach, 2006. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," Working Papers 621, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  6. Leah Platt Boustan, 2007. "Was Postwar Suburbanization "White Flight"? Evidence from the Black Migration," NBER Working Papers 13543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2007. "When Are Ghettos Bad? Lessons from Immigrant Segregation in the United States," NBER Working Papers 13082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Eric J. Brunner & Jon Sonstelie, 2006. "California's School Finance Reform: An Experiment in Fiscal Federalism," Working papers 2006-09, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  9. Betts, Julian R. & Fairlie, Robert W., 2003. "Does immigration induce 'native flight' from public schools into private schools?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 987-1012, May.
  10. Leah Platt Boustan, 2012. "School Desegregation and Urban Change: Evidence from City Boundaries," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 85-108, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Hunt, Jennifer, 2012. "The Impact of Immigration on the Educational Attainment of Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 6904, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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