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Do Immigrant Students Succeed? Evidence from Italy and France


  • Murat Marina

    () (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia)


This paper uses data from PISA 2006 on science, mathematics and reading to analyze immigrant school gaps – negative difference between immigrants’ and natives’ scores - and the structural features of educational systems in two adjacent countries, Italy and France, with similar migration inflows and with similar schooling institutions, based on tracking. Our results show that tracking and school specific programs matter; in both countries, the school system upholds a separation between students with different backgrounds and ethnicities. Residential segregation or discrimination seem also to be at work, especially in France. Given the existing school model, a teaching support in mathematics and science in France and in reading in Italy would help immigrant students to converge to natives’ standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Murat Marina, 2012. "Do Immigrant Students Succeed? Evidence from Italy and France," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-22, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:12:y:2012:i:3:n:8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andreas Ammermueller, 2007. "Poor Background or Low Returns? Why Immigrant Students in Germany Perform so Poorly in the Programme for International Student Assessment," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 215-230.
    2. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Ludger Wößmann, 2008. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 279-308, May.
    3. Daniele Checchi & Luca Flabbi, 2013. "Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 3, pages 7-57, July-Sept.
    4. Entorf, Horst & Lauk, Martina, 2006. "Peer effects, social multipliers and migrants at school: an international comparison," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 164, Darmstadt University of Technology, Department of Law and Economics.
    5. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wössmann, 2006. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences- in-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages 63-76, March.
    6. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 2004. "The evolution of modern educational systems: Technical vs. general education, distributional conflict, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 559-582, April.
    7. Michele Raitano & Francesco Vona, 2013. "Peer heterogeneity, school tracking and students' performances: evidence from PISA 2006," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(32), pages 4516-4532, November.
    8. Elder, Todd E. & Goddeeris, John H. & Haider, Steven J., 2010. "Unexplained gaps and Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 284-290, January.
    9. Bauer, Philipp & Riphahn, Regina T., 2006. "Timing of school tracking as a determinant of intergenerational transmission of education," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 90-97, April.
    10. Ludger Wößmann, 2009. "International Evidence on School Tracking: A Review," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(1), pages 26-34, 04.
    11. 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.
    12. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
    13. Entorf, Horst & Tatsi, Eirini, 2009. "Migrants at School: Educational Inequality and Social Interaction in the UK and Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4175, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Marina Murat & Davide Ferrari & Patrizio Frederic & Giulia Pirani, 2010. "Immigrants, schooling and background. Cross-country evidence from PISA 2006," Department of Economics 0637, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    15. Andreas Ammermueller, 2007. "PISA: What makes the difference?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 263-287, September.
    16. Nicole Schneeweis, 2011. "Educational institutions and the integration of migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1281-1308, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ralph Hippe & Luisa De Sousa Lobo Borges de Araujo & Patricia Dinis Mota da Costa, 2016. "Equity in Education in Europe," JRC Working Papers JRC104595, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    2. de la Rica, Sara & Glitz, Albrecht & Ortega, Francesc, 2013. "Immigration in Europe: Trends, Policies and Empirical Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 7778, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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