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Calling into Question the Link between Educational Achievement and Migrant Background

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  • Sara Bonfanti

Abstract

In EU societies, the role that immigrants’ children play in the educational system is fiercely debated. There exists a consensus that immigrants’ children show, on average, lower educational performances than children of natives in all EU states, regardless of grade level, type of school, age, etc. This awareness has led to the perception that the concentration of immigrants’ children negatively affects overall school educational performances. This note aims to disentangle the link between educational performance and migration background showing how the reality is much more complex. Specifically, two questions are answered. First, given that immigrants’ children represent a heterogeneous group in terms of parents’ origin, age at arrival, etc., does a multicultural background bring any kind of advantage to school performance compared with a mono-cultural one? Second, what is the effect of attending schools with a high percentage of immigrants’ children in terms of average school performance, once controlled for school socio-economic resources?

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Bonfanti, 2014. "Calling into Question the Link between Educational Achievement and Migrant Background," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers p0381, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:euirsc:p0381
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. van Ours, Jan C. & Veenman, Justus, 2008. "How Interethnic Marriages Affect the Educational Attainment of Children: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 3308, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. van Ours, Jan C & Veenman, Justus, 2008. "How Interethnic Marriages Affect the Educational Attainment of Children; Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6688, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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