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Goals and Gaps: Educational Careers of Immigrant Children

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  • Carlana, Michela

    (Harvard Kennedy School)

  • La Ferrara, Eliana

    (Bocconi University)

  • Pinotti, Paolo

    (Bocconi University)

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

  • Carlana, Michela & La Ferrara, Eliana & Pinotti, Paolo, 2018. "Goals and Gaps: Educational Careers of Immigrant Children," Working Paper Series rwp18-036, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp18-036
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    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:

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    2. Frattini, Tommaso & Meschi, Elena, 2019. "The effect of immigrant peers in vocational schools," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1-22.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Michela Carlana & Eliana La Ferrara & Paolo Pinotti, 2018. "Revealing Stereotypes: Evidence from Immigrants in Schools," NBER Working Papers 25333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse & Pia Pinger, 2020. "Mentoring and Schooling Decisions: Causal Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 8382, CESifo.
    5. Christina Gathmann & Ole Monscheuer & Christina Felfe & Helmut Rainer & Swantje Falcke & Paolo Pinotti & Graziella Bertocchi & Chiara Strozzi, 2020. "Einbürgerung (junger) Migranten: Katalysator oder Belohnung für gelungene Integration?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 73(11), pages 03-24, November.
    6. Michel Beine & Ana Cecilia Montes Vinas & Skerdikajda Zanaj, 2020. "The solution of the immigrant paradox: aspirations and expectations of children of migrants," DEM Discussion Paper Series 20-26, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    7. Tumen, Semih & Vlassopoulos, Michael & Wahba, Jackline, 2021. "Training Teachers for Diversity Awareness: Impact on School Attendance of Refugee Children," IZA Discussion Papers 14557, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. 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.
    9. Michela Carlana, 2019. "Implicit Stereotypes: Evidence from Teachers’ Gender Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(3), pages 1163-1224.
    10. Nuarpear Lekfuangfu & Reto Odermatt, 2020. "All I Have to Do Is Dream? The Role of Aspirations in Intergenerational Mobility and Well-Being," PIER Discussion Papers 142, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Christina Felfe de Ormeño & Helmut Rainer, 2020. "Intended and Unintended Consequences of Birthright Citizenship," CESifo Forum, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 21(04), pages 14-18, November.
    12. Lisa Bagnoli & Antonio Estache, 2019. "Mentoring labor market integration of migrants: Policy insights from a survey of mentoring theory and practice," Working Papers ECARES 2019-15, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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    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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