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Goals and Gaps: Educational Careers of Immigrant Children

Author

Listed:
  • Michela Carlana

    (Harvard Kennedy School and IZA)

  • Eliana La Ferrara La Ferrara

    () (Università Bocconi)

  • Paolo Pinotti

    () (Department of Social and Political Sciences and DONDENA, Bocconi University, CReAM Centre, fRDB, IR- VAPP, and CEPR)

Abstract

We study the educational choices of children of immigrants in a tracked school system. We first show that immigrants in Italy enroll disproportionately into vocational high schools, as opposed to technical and academically-oriented high schools, compared to natives of similar ability. The gap is greater for male students and it mirrors an analogous differential in grade retention. We then estimate the impact of a large-scale, randomized intervention providing tutoring and career counseling to high-ability immigrant students. Male treated students increase their probability of enrolling into the high track to the same level of natives, also closing the gap in terms of grade retention. There are no significant effects on immigrant girls, who exhibit similar choices and performance as native ones in absence of the intervention. Increases in academic motivation and changes in teachers’ recommendation regarding high school choice explain a sizable portion of the effect, while the effect of increases in cognitive skills is negligible. Finally, we find positive spillovers on immigrant classmates of treated students, while there is no effect on native classmates.

Suggested Citation

  • Michela Carlana & Eliana La Ferrara La Ferrara & Paolo Pinotti, 2018. "Goals and Gaps: Educational Careers of Immigrant Children," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1812, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1812
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

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    1. Los efectos de revelar a los profesores sus propios estereotipos
      by Libertad González in Nada Es Gratis on 2018-12-11 06:30:33

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    Cited by:

    1. 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".
    2. Tommaso Frattini, 2017. "Integration of immigrants in host countries - what we know and what works," Development Working Papers 427, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 10 Apr 2017.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Michela Carlana & Eliana La Ferrara & Paolo Pinotti, 2018. "Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1817, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tracking; career choice; immigrants; aspirations; mentoring;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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