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Age at Immigration and School Performance: A Siblings Analysis Using Swedish Register Data

  • Böhlmark, Anders

    ()

    (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

This article analyzes the role of age at immigration for the school performance gap between native and immigrant pupils in Sweden. The analysis exploits within-family variation in a large set of register data on immigrant siblings (and native children) graduating from compulsory school (normally at age 16) between 1988 and 2003. The critical age at arrival is about nine, above which there is a strong negative impact on performance. The slopes of these age-at-immigration performance profiles are similar for boys and girls as well as for children from different family backgrounds, but they vary widely by region of origin. Moreover, the estimated profiles are flatter for Mathematics than for a range of subjects taken together. This demonstrates the importance of Sweden-specific skills. A comparison of sibling-difference and cross-sectional estimates reveals that they are strikingly similar.

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Paper provided by Swedish Institute for Social Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 6/2005.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 21 Nov 2005
Date of revision: 10 Dec 2007
Publication status: Published in Labour Economics, 2008, pages 1366-1387.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sofiwp:2005_006
Contact details of provider: Postal: SOFI, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: (0)8 - 16 32 48
Fax: (0)8 - 15 46 70
Web page: http://www.sofi.su.se/

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  1. Christopher Worswick, 2004. "Adaptation and inequality: children of immigrants in Canadian schools," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(1), pages 53-77, February.
  2. Holmlund, Helena & Sund, Krister, 2005. "Is the Gender Gap in School Performance Affected by the Sex of the Teacher?," Working Paper Series 5/2005, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  3. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages F300-F323, November.
  4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700, May.
  5. Isacsson, Gunnar, 1999. "Estimates of the return to schooling in Sweden from a large sample of twins," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 471-489, November.
  6. Lindquist, Matthew J. & Böhlmark, Anders, 2005. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Country, Cohort and Gender Comparisons," Working Paper Series 4/2005, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  7. Sylke Schnepf, 2007. "Immigrants’ educational disadvantage: an examination across ten countries and three surveys," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 527-545, July.
  8. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
  9. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2004. "Language Skills and Earnings: Evidence from Childhood Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 481-496, May.
  10. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," NBER Working Papers 11943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Neumark, David, 1999. "Biases in twin estimates of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 143-148, April.
  12. Ashenfelter, Orley & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Estimates of the Economic Returns to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1157-73, December.
  13. van Ours, Jan C. & Veenman, Justus, 2006. "Age at immigration and educational attainment of young immigrants," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 310-316, March.
  14. Holmlund, Helena, 2004. "Estimating Long-Term Consequences of Teenage Childbearing - An Examination of the Siblings Approach," Working Paper Series 1/2004, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  15. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  16. Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Ethnic enclaves and the economic success of immigrants - evidence from a natural experiment," Working Paper Series 2000:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  17. Chiswick, Barry R. & DebBurman, Noyna, 2003. "Educational Attainment: Analysis by Immigrant Generation," IZA Discussion Papers 731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Lena Nekby, 2006. "The emigration of immigrants, return vs onward migration: evidence from Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 197-226, June.
  19. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1992. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U. S. Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 67-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. John Bound & Gary Solon, 1998. "Double Trouble: On the Value of Twins-Based Estimation of the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 6721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Cortes, Kalena E., 2006. "The effects of age at arrival and enclave schools on the academic performance of immigrant children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 121-132, April.
  22. AfDB AfDB, . "AfDB Group Annual Report 2004," Annual Report, African Development Bank, number 60 edited by Koua Louis Kouakou, 8.
  23. Joseph Schaafsma & Arthur Sweetman, 2001. "Immigrant earnings: age at immigration matters," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1066-1099, November.
  24. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  25. Gunnar Isacsson, 2004. "Estimating the economic return to educational levels using data on twins," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 99-119.
  26. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
  27. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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