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Speaking in Numbers: The Effect of Reading Performance on Math Performance among Immigrants

Author

Listed:
  • Isphording, Ingo E.

    (IZA)

  • Piopiunik, Marc

    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Rodríguez-Planas, Núria

    (Queens College, CUNY)

Abstract

This paper is the first to estimate a causal effect of immigrant students' reading performance on their math performance. To overcome endogeneity issues due to unobserved ability, we apply an IV approach exploiting variation in age-at-arrival and the linguistic distance between origin and destination country languages. Using four PISA waves, we find a strong influence of reading performance on math performance, highlighting the importance of early language support for immigrants for their educational career.

Suggested Citation

  • Isphording, Ingo E. & Piopiunik, Marc & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2015. "Speaking in Numbers: The Effect of Reading Performance on Math Performance among Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 9433, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9433
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Isphording, Ingo E., 2014. "Disadvantages of linguistic origin—Evidence from immigrant literacy scores," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 236-239.
    2. Enrico Spolaore & Romain Wacziarg, 2009. "The Diffusion of Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 469-529.
    3. Hanushek, Eric A. & Schwerdt, Guido & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2015. "Returns to skills around the world: Evidence from PIAAC," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 103-130.
    4. Ohinata, Asako & van Ours, Jan C., 2012. "Young immigrant children and their educational attainment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 288-290.
    5. Petroni, Filippo & Serva, Maurizio, 2010. "Measures of lexical distance between languages," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(11), pages 2280-2283.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht, 2011. "Migration and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 327-439, Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chevalier, Arnaud & Isphording, Ingo E. & Lisauskaite, Elena, 2020. "Peer diversity, college performance and educational choices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    2. José M. Cordero & Víctor Cristóbal & Daniel Santín, 2018. "Causal Inference On Education Policies: A Survey Of Empirical Studies Using Pisa, Timss And Pirls," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(3), pages 878-915, July.
    3. Rodríguez-Planas, Núria & Nollenberger, Natalia, 2018. "Let the girls learn! It is not only about math … it's about gender social norms," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 230-253.
    4. Mariagrazia Cavallo & Giuseppe Russo, 2020. "Reading Performance and Math Performance of Second-Generation Children in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 554, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    5. Galloway, Taryn Ann & Gjefsen, Hege Marie, 2020. "Assimilation of immigrants: Does earlier school exposure matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    language; math performance; linguistic distance; immigrants; age-at-arrival; instrumental variable;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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