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The effect of immigrant peers in vocational schools

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  • Frattini, Tommaso
  • Meschi, Elena

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on how the presence of immigrant peers in the classroom affects native student achievement. The analysis is based on longitudinal administrative data on two cohorts of vocational training students in Italy's largest region. Vocational training institutions provide the ideal setting for studying these effects because they attract not only disproportionately high shares of immigrants but also the lowest ability native students. We adopt a value added model, and exploit within-school variation both within and across cohorts for identification. Our results show small negative average effects on maths test scores that are larger for low ability native students, strongly non-linear and only observable in classes with a high (top 20%) immigrant concentration. These outcomes are driven by classes with a high average linguistic distance between immigrants and natives, with no apparent additional role played by ethnic diversity.

Suggested Citation

  • Frattini, Tommaso & Meschi, Elena, 2019. "The effect of immigrant peers in vocational schools," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:113:y:2019:i:c:p:1-22
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2018.12.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Chevalier, Arnaud & Isphording, Ingo E. & Lisauskaite, Elena, 2020. "Peer diversity, college performance and educational choices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    2. Campigotto, Nicola & Rapallini, Chiara & Rustichini, Aldo, 2020. "School Friendship Networks, Homophily and Multiculturalism: Evidence from European Countries," GLO Discussion Paper Series 695, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Corazzini, Luca & Meschi, Elena & Pavese, Caterina, 2019. "Impact of Early Childcare on Immigrant Children’s Educational Performance," GLO Discussion Paper Series 394, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Bredtmann, Julia & Otten, Sebastian & Vonnahme, Christina, 2018. "Linguistic diversity in the classroom, student achievement, and social integration," Ruhr Economic Papers 783, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    5. Rama Dasi Mariani & Alessandra Pasquini & Furio Camillo Rosati, 2020. "Elementary Facts About Immigration in Italy. What Do We Know About Immigration and Its Impact," CEIS Research Paper 488, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 28 May 2020.
    6. Dale-Olsen, Harald & Finseraas, Henning, 2020. "Linguistic diversity and workplace productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; Education; Peer effects; Linguistic distance; Ethnic diversity;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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