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The Effect of Family Separation and Reunification on the Educational Success of Immigrant Children in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Gindling, T. H.

    () (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

  • Poggio, Sara Z.

    () (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Abstract

For many immigrants, especially those from Central America and Mexico, it is common for a mother or father (or both) to migrate to the United States and leave their children behind. Then, after the parent(s) have achieved some degree of stability in the United States, the children follow. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, we examined the hypothesis that separation during migration results in problems at school after re-unification. We find that children separated from parents during migration are more likely to be behind others their age in school and are more likely to drop out of high school.

Suggested Citation

  • Gindling, T. H. & Poggio, Sara Z., 2010. "The Effect of Family Separation and Reunification on the Educational Success of Immigrant Children in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 4887, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4887
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Georges, Annie & Pozo, Susan, 2008. "Migration, Remittances and Children’s Schooling in Haiti," IZA Discussion Papers 3657, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2008. "The Lengthening of Childhood," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
    3. Anne Case & I-Fen Lin & Sara McLanahan, 2000. "Educational Attainment in Blended Families," NBER Working Papers 7874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Can migration reduce educational attainment? Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1331-1358, October.
    5. Richard Akresh & Redstone Akresh, 2011. "Using Achievement Tests to Measure Language Assimilation and Language Bias among the Children of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(3), pages 647-667.
    6. Lofstrom, Magnus, 2007. "Why Are Hispanic and African-American Dropout Rates So High?," IZA Discussion Papers 3265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Miranda, Alfonso, 2007. "Migrant Networks, Migrant Selection, and High School Graduation in Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 3204, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Fitzpatrick Maria D, 2008. "Starting School at Four: The Effect of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Children's Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, November.
    9. Krista Perreira & Kathleen Harris & Dohoon Lee, 2006. "Making it in America: High school completion by immigrant and native youth," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(3), pages 511-536, August.
    10. Jasso, Guillermina & Massey, Douglas S. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Smith, James P., 2008. "From Illegal to Legal: Estimating Previous Illegal Experience among New Legal Immigrants to the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3441, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2012. "Better Jobs in Central America : The Role of Human Capital," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11924, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrant children; education; family separation;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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