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What a Difference Immigration Policy Makes: A Comparison of PISA Scores in Europe and Traditional Countries of Immigration


  • Horst Entorf
  • Nicoleta Minoiu


The purpose of this article is to evaluate the importance of different immigration policies associated with corresponding migration backgrounds, command of national languages and intergenerational mobility, for the PISA school performance of teenagers living in European countries (France, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom and Sweden) and traditional countries of immigration (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US). Econometric results show that the influence of the socioeconomic background of parents differs strongly across nations, with the highest impact found for Germany, the UK and US, whereas intergenerational transmission of educational attainment is less likely in Scandinavian countries and in Canada. Moreover, for all countries our estimations imply that for students with a migration background a key for catching up is the language spoken at home. We conclude that educational policy should focus on integration of immigrant children in schools and preschools, with particular emphasis on language skills at the early stage of childhood. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.

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  • Horst Entorf & Nicoleta Minoiu, 2005. "What a Difference Immigration Policy Makes: A Comparison of PISA Scores in Europe and Traditional Countries of Immigration," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 355-376, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:6:y:2005:i:3:p:355-376

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    Cited by:

    1. Giannelli, Gianna Claudia & Rapallini, Chiara, 2016. "Immigrant student performance in Math: Does it matter where you come from?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 291-304.
    2. Elke Lüdemann & Guido Schwerdt, 2010. "Migration Background and Educational Tracking: Is there a Double Disadvantage for Second-Generation Immigrants?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3256, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Friedhelm Pfeiffer & Henrik Winterhager, 2006. "Selektivität und direkte Wirkungen von Vermittlungsgutscheinen: Empirische Befunde aus der Einführungsphase," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(3), pages 395-415, August.
    4. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Gianandrea Lanzara, 2012. "Educational achievement of second‐generation immigrants: an international comparison," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 27(69), pages 143-185, January.
    5. Lounkaew, Kiatanantha, 2013. "Explaining urban–rural differences in educational achievement in Thailand: Evidence from PISA literacy data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 213-225.
    6. Elke Lüdemann, 2011. "Schooling and the Formation of Cognitive and Non-cognitive Outcomes," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 39, April.
    7. Meunier, Muriel, 2011. "Immigration and student achievement: Evidence from Switzerland," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 16-38, February.
    8. Cattaneo, Maria Alejandra & Wolter, Stefan C., 2012. "Migration Policy Can Boost PISA Results: Findings from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. French, Joseph J. & French, Atchaporn & Li, Wei-Xuan, 2015. "The relationship among cultural dimensions, education expenditure, and PISA performance," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 25-34.
    10. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht, 2011. "Migration and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    11. Luque, M. & Marcenaro-Gutiérrez, O.D. & López-Agudo, L.A., 2015. "On the potential balance among compulsory education outcomes through econometric and multiobjective programming analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 241(2), pages 527-540.
    12. Yaqub, Shahin, 2010. "Does age-at-migration in childhood affect migrant socioeconomic achievements in adulthood?," MPRA Paper 27935, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Zlata Bruckauf & Yekaterina Chzhen & Emilia Toczydlowska & UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2016. "Bottom-end Inequality: Are children with an immigrant background at a disadvantage?," Papers inores841, Innocenti Research Briefs.
    14. Murat Marina, 2012. "Do Immigrant Students Succeed? Evidence from Italy and France," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-22, September.

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