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Reading Performance and Math Performance of Second-Generation Children in Italy

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Abstract

This paper studies the effect of language proficiency on Math achievement for ten-year-old second-generation children in Italy. Through an IV given by the interaction between age and linguistic distance, we find that a higher score in Italian reduces the score in Math. This outcome is led by children with insufficient command of Italian (namely, those whose reading score is below 95% of the natives' average) and suggests that these students can improve their Italian only at the cost of reducing their performance in other subjects. This delay in language acquisition may undermine equality of opportunities from childhood.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:554
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    File URL: http://www.csef.it/WP/wp554.pdf
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    Keywords

    Second generations; language; math performance; linguistic distance; instrumental variable;

    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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