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Granting Birthright Citizenship – A Door Opener for Immigrant Children's Educational Participation and Success?

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  • Christina Felfe
  • Judith Saurer

Abstract

Does birthright citizenship boost immigrant children's educational participation and success? We address this question relying on a reform of the German naturalization law in 1999 that entitled children born after January 1, 2000 to birthright citizenship. We isolate the impact of birthright citizenship by comparing children born shortly before and shortly after the cutoff in years of policy change and years in which no policy change took place. Results based on administrative data indicate positive effects across all educational levels – preschool, primary school and secondary school – which, however, fade out over time. The underlying mechanism seems to be parental decisions and not improved (evaluations of) children's skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Christina Felfe & Judith Saurer, 2015. "Granting Birthright Citizenship – A Door Opener for Immigrant Children's Educational Participation and Success?," ifo Working Paper Series 208, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_208
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lemmermann, Dominique & Riphahn, Regina T., 2018. "The causal effect of age at migration on youth educational attainment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 78-99.
    2. Regina T. Riphahn & Salwan Saif, 2019. "Naturalization and labor market performance of immigrants in Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 33(1), pages 48-76, March.
    3. von Haaren-Giebel, Friederike, 2016. "Naturalisation and Investments in Children's Human Capital: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-576, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    4. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Gratereaux Hernández, Carlos & Pozo, Susan, 2017. "On the Implications of Immigration Policy Restricting Citizenship: Evidence from the Dominican Republic," IZA Discussion Papers 10602, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Michael Weber, 2016. "The short-run and long-run effects of decentralizing public employment services," ifo Working Paper Series 209, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    6. Christina Felfe & Judith Saurer & Anita Fichtl, 2015. "Deutsch ab Geburt: Einfluss von Staatsangehörigkeit auf Bildungsbeteiligung und Bildungserfolg," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(24), pages 17-22, December.
    7. Friedericke von Haaren-Giebel, 2016. "Naturalisation and Investments in Children's Human Capital: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 854, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration law; education; difference-in-difference.;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • K37 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Immigration Law

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