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Age of entry and the high school performance of immigrant youth

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  • Stiefel, Leanna
  • Schwartz, Amy Ellen
  • Conger, Dylan
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    Abstract

    In 2005, immigrants exceeded 12% of the US population, with the highest concentrations in large metropolitan areas. While considerable research has focused on how immigrants affect local wages and housing prices, less research has asked how immigrants fare in US urban public schools. Previous studies find that foreign-born students outperform native-born students in their elementary and middle school years, but urban policymakers and practitioners continue to raise concerns about educational outcomes of immigrants arriving in their high school years. We use data on a large cohort of New York City (NYC) public high school students to examine how the performance of students who immigrate during high school (teen immigrants) differs from that of students who immigrate during middle school (tween immigrants) or elementary school (child immigrants), relative to otherwise similar native-born students. Contrary to prior studies, our difference-in-difference estimates suggest that, ceteris paribus, teen immigrants do well compared to native-born migrants, and that the foreign-born advantage is relatively large among the teen (im)migrants. That said, our findings provide cause for concern about the performance of limited English proficient students, blacks and Hispanics and, importantly, teen migrants. In particular, switching school districts in the high school years - that is, student mobility across school districts - may be more detrimental than immigration per se. Results are robust to alternative specifications and cohorts, including a cohort of Miami students.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

    Volume (Year): 67 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 303-314

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:67:y:2010:i:3:p:303-314

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

    Related research

    Keywords: Immigrants Mobility Academic Performance High Schools Education Urban public schools;

    References

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    1. Rachel M. Friedberg & J. Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Working Papers 95-5, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    2. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities," NBER Working Papers 4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jennifer Glick & Michael White, 2003. "academic trajectories of immigrant youths: Analysis within and across cohorts," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 759-783, November.
    4. Chiswick, Barry R. & DebBurman, Noyna, 2004. "Educational attainment: analysis by immigrant generation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 361-379, August.
    5. Saiz, Albert, 2006. "Immigration and Housing Rents in American Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 2189, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Borjas, George J, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-50, February.
    7. Gonzalez, Arturo, 2003. "The education and wages of immigrant children: the impact of age at arrival," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 203-212, April.
    8. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
    9. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," Working Papers 633, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. Krista Perreira & Kathleen Harris & Dohoon Lee, 2006. "Making it in America: High school completion by immigrant and native youth," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 511-536, August.
    11. Charles Hirschman, 2001. "The educational enrollment of immigrant youth: A test of the segmented-assimilation hypothesis," Demography, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 317-336, August.
    12. Amy Ellen Schwartz & Leanna Stiefel, 2006. "Is There a Nativity Gap? New Evidence on the Academic Performance of Immigrant Students," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 17-49, January.
    13. Shana Pribesh & Douglas Downey, 1999. "Why are residential and school moves associated with poor school performance?," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 521-534, November.
    14. Iatarola, P. & Stiefel, L., 2003. "Intradistrict equity of public education resources and performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 69-78, February.
    15. Mehana, Majida & Reynolds, Arthur J., 2004. "School mobility and achievement: a meta-analysis," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 93-119, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. NONNEMAN, Walter, 2012. "School achievement and failure of immigrant children in Flanders," Working Papers 2012008, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.

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