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Schooling Inequality and Language Barriers

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  • Parker, Susan W
  • Rubalcava, Luis
  • Teruel, Graciela

Abstract

This article estimates the impact of language barriers on school achievement and the potential ameliorating role of bilingual education. Using large household data sets from poor rural communities in Mexico, we find that parental language (failure to speak Spanish) represents an important barrier to the schooling of indigenous children. We provide an empirical test suggesting that this largely reflects parental human capital related to culture/language, rather than unobserved wealth effects. Using double difference estimators with community fixed effects to address endogenous program placement, we demonstrate that schools with bilingual education narrow the gap in the educational performance of children with monolingual mothers versus bilingual and nonindigenous mothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Parker, Susan W & Rubalcava, Luis & Teruel, Graciela, 2005. "Schooling Inequality and Language Barriers," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 71-94, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2005:v:54:i:1:p:71-94
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/431257
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kossoudji, Sherrie A, 1988. "English Language Ability and the Labor Market Opportunities of Hispanic and East Asian Immigrant Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 205-228, April.
    2. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-288, April.
    3. Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
    4. Evelina Tainer, 1988. "English Language Proficiency and the Determination of Earnings among Foreign-Born Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(1), pages 108-122.
    5. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-170, April.
    6. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1986. "Evaluating the Effects of Optimally Distributed Public Programs: ChildHealth and Family Planning Interventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 470-482, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Muravyev, Alexander & Talavera, Oleksandr, 2016. "Can state language policies distort students’ demand for education?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 383-399.
    2. Efraín Rodríguez Lozano, 2011. "¿Barreras Lingüísticas en la Educación?: La Influencia de la Lengua Materna en la Deserción Escolar," Documentos de Trabajo / Working Papers 2011-324, Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
    3. Alexander Muravyev & Oleksandr Talavera, 2010. "Can State Language Policies Distort Students' Demand for Higher Education?," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 023, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    4. Quiñones, Esteban J., 2006. "The Indigenous Heterogeneity of Oportunidades: Ample or Insufficient Human Capital Accumulation?," MPRA Paper 19539, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Hynsjö, Disa & Damon, Amy, 2016. "Bilingual education in Peru: Evidence on how Quechua-medium education affects indigenous children's academic achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 116-132.
    6. Bando, Rosangela & Lopez-Calva, Luis F. & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2005. "Child labor, school attendance, and indigenous households : evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3487, The World Bank.
    7. Domingues, Patrick, 2011. "Civil War Exposure And School Enrolment:Evidence From The Mozambican Civil War," NEPS Working Papers 1/2011, Network of European Peace Scientists.
    8. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:145-162 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Santibañez, Lucrecia, 2016. "The indigenous achievement gap in Mexico: The role of teacher policy under intercultural bilingual education," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 63-75.
    10. Nguyen, Hoa-Thi-Minh & Kompas, Tom & Breusch, Trevor & Ward, Michael B., 2017. "Language, Mixed Communes, and Infrastructure: Sources of Inequality and Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 145-162.

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