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Length of Stay in the Host Country and Educational Achievement of Immigrant Students: The Italian Case

Listed author(s):
  • Di Liberto, Adriana

    ()

    (University of Cagliari)

Using Italian data on language standardized tests for three different levels of schooling we investigate if the observed gap in educational attainments in 1st generation immigrants tends to lower the longer they stay in Italy, and if younger children tend to catch up faster than their older schoolmates. The analysis shows that the significant gap in language skills observed between 1st and 2nd generation immigrant students is mainly due to both the negative performance of immigrant children newly arrived in Italy, and the immigrant students' area of origin. Comparing the results across the different grades, we also find that this gap narrows at a different pace in the early or later years of an immigrant student's life. Overall, our results suggest the presence of a 'critical' age above which 1st generation immigrant students face a negative impact on their school performance, and that institutional and cultural factors play a role on immigrant language skills acquisition.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 8547.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2014
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2015, 36 (4), 585-618
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8547
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  7. Sweetman, A. & van Ours, J.C., 2014. "Immigration : What About the Children and Grandchildren?," Discussion Paper 2014-009, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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  9. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2010. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation among US Immigrants," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 165-192, January.
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  15. Ohinata, Asako & van Ours, Jan C., 2012. "Young immigrant children and their educational attainment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 288-290.
  16. Anthony Heath & Elina Kilpi-Jakonen, 2012. "Immigrant Children's Age at Arrival and Assessment Results," OECD Education Working Papers 75, OECD Publishing.
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  18. Sauro Mocetti, 2012. "Educational choices and the selection process: before and after compulsory schooling," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 189-209, February.
  19. Bratti, Massimiliano & Checchi, Daniele & Filippin, Antonio, 2007. "Territorial Differences in Italian Students’ Mathematical Competencies: Evidence from PISA 2003," IZA Discussion Papers 2603, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. 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.
  21. Böhlmark, Anders, 2008. "Age at immigration and school performance: A siblings analysis using swedish register data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1366-1387, December.
  22. 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.
  23. Bratsberg, Bernt & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Røed, Knut, 2011. "Educating Children of Immigrants: Closing the Gap in Norwegian Schools," IZA Discussion Papers 6138, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. 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.
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