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The Tower of Babel in the Classroom: Immigrants and Natives in Italian Schools

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  • Ballatore, Rosario Maria
  • Fort, Margherita
  • Ichino, Andrea

Abstract

We exploit rules of class formation to identify the causal effect of increasing the number of immigrants in a classroom on natives test scores, keeping class size constant (Pure Composition Effect). We explain why this is a relevant policy parameter although it has been neglected so far. We show that the PCE is sizeable and negative at age 7 (-1.6% for language and math) and does not vanish when children grow up to age 10. Conventional estimates are instead smaller because they are confounded by endogenous class size adjustments implemented by principals when confronted with immigrant and native inflows.

Suggested Citation

  • Ballatore, Rosario Maria & Fort, Margherita & Ichino, Andrea, 2015. "The Tower of Babel in the Classroom: Immigrants and Natives in Italian Schools," CEPR Discussion Papers 10341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10341
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Casari, Marco & Depaola, Maria & Ichino, Andrea & Marandola, Ginevra & Michaeli, Moti & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2018. "Civicness drain," CEPR Discussion Papers 13311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
      • Casari, Marco & Ichino, Andrea & Michaeli, Moti & De Paola, Maria & Marandola, Ginevra & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2018. "Civicness Drain," IZA Discussion Papers 11955, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Tommaso Frattini & Elena Meschi, 2017. "The effect of immigrant peers in vocational schools," Working Papers 2017:20, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    3. Barone, Guglielmo & D'Ignazio, Alessio & de Blasio, Guido & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2016. "Mr. Rossi, Mr. Hu and politics. The role of immigration in shaping natives' voting behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 1-13.
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Erich Battistin & Daniela Vuri, 2014. "In a Small Moment: Class Size and Moral Hazard in the Mezzogiorno," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2014-04, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
    5. Adriana Di Liberto, 2015. "Length of stay in the host country and educational achievement of immigrant students: The Italian case," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(4), pages 585-618, July.
    6. De Paola, Maria & Brunello, Giorgio, 2016. "Education as a Tool for the Economic Integration of Migrants," IZA Discussion Papers 9836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Wang, Haining & Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2018. "Do migrant students affect local students’ academic achievements in urban China?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 64-77.
    8. Anelli, Massimo & Shih, Kevin Y. & Williams, Kevin, 2017. "Foreign Peer Effects and STEM Major Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 10743, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. repec:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:216-49 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Barone, Guglielmo & D'Ignazio, Alessio & de Blasio, Guido & Naticchioni, Paolo, 2014. "Mr. Rossi, Mr. Hu and Politics: The Role of Immigration in Shaping Natives' Political Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 8228, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Joshua D. Angrist & Erich Battistin & Daniela Vuri, 2017. "In a Small Moment: Class Size and Moral Hazard in the Italian Mezzogiorno," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 216-249, October.
    12. Bossavie, Laurent, 2017. "Immigrant Concentration at School and Natives’ Achievement: Does the Type of Migrants and Natives Matter?," MPRA Paper 80308, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Peter Jensen, 2015. "Immigrants in the classroom and effects on native children," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 194-194, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; immigration; integration;

    JEL classification:

    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • 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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