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Better migrants, better PISA results: Findings from a natural experiment

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  • Maria Cattaneo

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  • Stefan Wolter

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Abstract

Switzerland changed its migration policy in the 1990s from a “non-qualified only” policy to one of almost free movement of labor. To analyze the impact of this policy change on the schooling outcomes of children of first-generation migrants, the paper compares the PISA results of first-generation pupils in 2000 with the scores of children tested in 2009, whose parents immigrated after the policy changed. We find that around 75% of the 40-point increase in the PISA score of first-generation immigrant students was due to changes in the individual background characteristics of their parents and to improved school composition. Copyright Cattaneo and Wolter. 2015

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:izamig:v:4:y:2015:i:1:p:1-19:10.1186/s40176-015-0042-y
    DOI: 10.1186/s40176-015-0042-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ludger Woessmann, 2016. "The Importance of School Systems: Evidence from International Differences in Student Achievement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 3-32, Summer.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    I21; I24; J15; Migration; PISA; Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition; Natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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