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Immigration and student achievement: Evidence from Switzerland

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  • Meunier, Muriel

Abstract

This paper investigates empirically whether immigrant students in Switzerland perform poorly compared to their native counterparts and provides some explanations. Using a national sample of the 2000 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) database, we first analyze the impact of immigrant status on pupils' achievement. We find a negative and significant impact of immigrant status on test scores in reading, mathematics and science literacy, even after controlling for a set of characteristics. We then decompose the observed reading score gap between Swiss and immigrant students to identify whether gaps in endowments explain test score differences along the distribution. Lower endowments explain most of the achievement gap in reading between Swiss and second-generation immigrants. However, lower returns explain around one quarter of the achievement gap between Swiss and first-generation immigrants for the weakest pupils.

Suggested Citation

  • Meunier, Muriel, 2011. "Immigration and student achievement: Evidence from Switzerland," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 16-38, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:1:p:16-38
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zlata Bruckauf & UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2016. "Falling Behind: Socio-demographic profiles of educationally disadvantaged youth. Evidence from PISA 2000-2012," Papers inwopa837, Innocenti Working Papers.
    2. Sweetman, A. & van Ours, J.C., 2014. "Immigration : What About the Children and Grandchildren?," Discussion Paper 2014-009, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Marco Tonello, 2011. "Mechanisms of peer interactions between native and non-native students: rejection or integration?," Working Papers 2011/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    4. 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).
    5. Maria Cattaneo & Stefan Wolter, 2015. "Better migrants, better PISA results: Findings from a natural experiment," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.
    6. Sandra Nieto & Raul Ramos & Juan Carlos Duque, 2012. "Rural-urban differences in educational outcomes: Evidence for Colombia using PISA microdata," ERSA conference papers ersa12p388, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Ramos, Raul & Duque, Juan Carlos & Nieto, Sandra, 2016. "Decomposing the Rural-Urban Differential in Student Achievement in Colombia using PISA Microdata/Una descomposición del diferencial rural-urbano en los rendimientos educativos en Colombia a partir de ," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 34, pages 379-412, Mayo.
    8. Sandra Nieto & Raul Ramos, 2014. "“Decomposition of Differences in PISA Results in Middle Income Countries”," AQR Working Papers 201404, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Mar 2014.
    9. Garnett Picot & Feng Hou, 2013. "Why Immigrant Background Matters for University Participation: A Comparison of Switzerland and Canada," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 612-642, September.
    10. Raul Ramos & Juan Carlos Duque & Sandra Nieto, 2012. "“Decomposing the Rural-Urban Differential in Student Achievement in Colombia Using PISA Microdata”," AQR Working Papers 201210, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Mar 2013.
    11. 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.

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