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Does Immigration Induce 'Native Flight' from Public Schools? Evidence from a Large Scale Voucher Program

Author

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  • Gerdes, Christer

    () (SOFI, Stockholm University)

Abstract

Recent studies point to a positive correlation between ethnic heterogeneity due to immigration and the propensity of opting out from public schools for private alternatives. However, immigration across regions is hardly exogenous, which obstructs attempts to reveal causal mechanisms. This paper explores changes in the immigrant population in Danish municipalities 1992-2004, a period marked by a substantial influx of refugees, where a state-sponsored placement policy restricted their initial choice of residence. Besides such demographic changes, for more than hundred years Denmark has allowed parents to enroll their children into so called 'free schools', i.e. schools that are privately operated. Taken together, this provides a unique opportunity to determine if there has been 'native flight' from public schools to free schools. Results from this study indicate an increase in native Danes propensity to enroll their children in free schools as the share of children with immigrant background becomes larger in their municipality of residence. The effect is most pronounced in small and medium sized municipalities, while it seems absent in larger municipalities. One explanation for the latter holds that residential segregation within larger municipalities makes a choice of private alternatives less attractive.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerdes, Christer, 2010. "Does Immigration Induce 'Native Flight' from Public Schools? Evidence from a Large Scale Voucher Program," IZA Discussion Papers 4788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4788
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schneeweis, Nicole, 2015. "Immigrant concentration in schools: Consequences for native and migrant students," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 63-76.
    2. Farré, Lídia & Ortega, Francesc & Tanaka, Ryuichi, 2015. "Immigration and School Choices in the Midst of the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 9234, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Ortega, Francesc & Tanaka, Ryuichi, 2015. "Immigration and the Political Economy of Public Education: Recent Perspectives," IZA Discussion Papers 8778, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. David N. Figlio & Umut Özek, 2017. "Unwelcome Guests? The Effects of Refugees on the Educational Outcomes of Incumbent Students," NBER Working Papers 23661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ulrich Hendel & Salmai Qari, 2014. "Immigration and Attitudes Towards Day Care," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 997-1029, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    private schools; immigration; school choice;

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J78 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Public Policy (including comparable worth)
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

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