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Positive but also negative effects of ethnic diversity in schools on educational performance? An empirical test using cross-national PISA data


  • Dronkers, Jaap


In this inaugural lecture, I will estimate the effects on language skills of two characteristics of school populations: average/share and diversity, both on the ethnic and the sociocultural dimension. I will use the cross-national PISA 206 data, for both 15-year-old native pupils and pupils with an immigrant background. A larger ethnic diversity of schools in secondary education hampers the educational performance of both pupils with an immigrant background and native pupils, but the negative effects are smaller in education systems with little stratification and strongest in highly stratified education systems. The sociocultural diversity of schools does not have an effect on educational performance, but these effects are positive in highly stratified educational systems and negative in hardly stratified systems. However, the average parental educational level of schools is very important for the educational performance of children, and this hardly differs between education systems. A higher share of pupils with an immigrant background in a school hampers educational performance, but if these pupils have the same regional origin (Islamic countries; non-Islamic Asian countries), a higher share of pupils with an immigrant background at that school promotes educational performance. Pupils originating from Islamic countries have substantially lower language scores than equivalent pupils with an immigrant background from other regions. This cannot be explained by the individual socioeconomic backgrounds, school characteristics, or education systems.

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  • Dronkers, Jaap, 2010. "Positive but also negative effects of ethnic diversity in schools on educational performance? An empirical test using cross-national PISA data," MPRA Paper 25598, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25598

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ewijk, R. van & Sleegers, P, "undated". "The effect of peer socioeconomic status on student achievement: a meta-analysis," Working Papers 20, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.
    2. Jaap Dronkers & Manon de Heus, 2012. "The Educational Performance of Children of Immigrants in Sixteen OECD Countries," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1210, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    3. Ganzeboom, H.B.G. & de Graaf, P.M. & Treiman, D.J. & de Leeuw, J., 1992. "A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status," WORC Paper 85970031-d601-46e3-befb-1, Tilburg University, Work and Organization Research Centre.
    4. Dronkers, Jaap & Heus, Manon de, 2009. "Negative selectivity of Europe’s guest-worker immigration?," MPRA Paper 22213, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Levels, Mark & Dronkers, Jaap Dronkers & Kraaykamp, Gerbert, 2006. "Educational Achievement of Immigrant Children in Western Countries: Origin, Destination, and Community Effects on Mathematical Performance," MPRA Paper 21653, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. André, Stéfani & Dronkers, Jaap & Fleischmann, Fenella, 2008. "Verschillen in groepsdiscriminatie, zoals waargenomen door immigranten uit verschillende herkomstlanden in veertien lidstaten van de Europese Unie
      [Perception of in-group discrimination among immig
      ," MPRA Paper 22019, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Dietlind Stolle & Stuart Soroka & Richard Johnston, 2008. "When Does Diversity Erode Trust? Neighborhood Diversity, Interpersonal Trust and the Mediating Effect of Social Interactions," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 56, pages 57-75, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Facundo Albornoz & Antonio Cabrales & Esther Hauk, 2011. "Immigration and the School System," Working Papers 590, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Deborah A. Cobb-Clarke & Mathias Sinning & Steven Stillman, 2011. "Migrant Youths' Educational Achievement: The Role of Institutions," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2011-565, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    3. Calero, Jorge & Escardíbul, J. Oriol, 2016. "Proceso educativo y resultados del alumnado nativo y de origen inmigrante en España. Un análisis basado en PISA-2012/Educational Process and Native and Immigrant Students? Results. An Analysis Based o," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 34, pages 413-438, Mayo.
    4. repec:zbw:rwirep:0292 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Mathias Sinning & Steven Stillman, 2011. "Migrant Youths‘ Educational Achievement: The Role of Institutions," Ruhr Economic Papers 0292, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Prokic-Breuer Tijana & Dronkers Jaap, 2012. "The high performance of Dutch and Flemish 15-year-old native pupils: Explaining country differences in math scores between highly stratified educational systems," Research Memorandum 039, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    7. Maestri, Virginia, 2009. "Can ethnic diversity have a positive effect on school achievement?," MPRA Paper 31547, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2011.

    More about this item


    immigration; educational performance; country of origin; ethnic school diversity; social-economic school diversity; ethnic and social-economic share/average of schools; educational systems;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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