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Age Effects in Primary Education: A Double Disadvantage for Second-Generation Immigrants

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Abstract

The integration of second-generation immigrant children is a major challenge for the receiving countries, especially where immigration is a recent phenomenon. Apart from family, integration begins at school. We study whether the immigrant background interacts with age effects (namely, absolute age effect and relative age effect), generating additional barriers (double disadvantage) for second-generation children in the Italian primary school. We can identify these effects because we exploit the heterogeneity in children's birthdates and because the test is given at two different points in time. We find evidence of a double disadvantage that, relative to the average native, reduces scores in Italian by 17% and in Math by 20%. In a policy perspective, we show that controlling for age effects in class composition criteria promotes integration because it delivers extra benefits to second-generation immigrant children. Besides, we point out the possibility of turning the large impact of the relative age on second-generation children to their advantage, in order to reduce the sizable penalization associated with the immigrant background.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Abatemarco & Mariagrazia Cavallo & Immacolata Marino & Giuseppe Russo, 2020. "Age Effects in Primary Education: A Double Disadvantage for Second-Generation Immigrants," CSEF Working Papers 567, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 30 Jul 2021.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:567
    Note: A previous version has been circulated under the title " Age Effects in Primary Education: A Double Disadvantage for Second Generations"
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rashmi Barua & Kevin Lang, 2016. "School Entry, Educational Attainment, and Quarter of Birth: A Cautionary Tale of a Local Average Treatment Effect," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(3), pages 347-376.
    2. Peña, Pablo A. & Duckworth, Angela L., 2018. "The effects of relative and absolute age in the measurement of grit from 9th to 12th grade," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 183-190.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    second-generation immigrants; education; age effects; double disadvantage.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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