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Family Separation and Reunification as a Factor in the Educational Success of Immigrant Children

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Abstract

We find that family separation during migration has a negative impact on the educational success of immigrant children in U.S. schools. Children separated from parents during migration are more likely to be behind others their age in school, are more likely to repeat a grade, and are more likely to drop out of high school. The negative impact of separation during migration on educational success is largest for Latin American immigrants, for children separated from their mothers (as opposed to fathers), for those whose parents have lived in the United States illegally, and for those who were separated from their parents at older ages and reunited with parents as teenagers.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim H. Gindling & Sara Z. Poggio, 2008. "Family Separation and Reunification as a Factor in the Educational Success of Immigrant Children," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-104, UMBC Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:umb:econwp:09104
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    File URL: http://www.umbc.edu/economics/wpapers/wp_09_104_FinalReport-FamilySeparationandReunification.pdf
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    1. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Georges, Annie & Pozo, Susan, 2008. "Migration, Remittances and Children’s Schooling in Haiti," IZA Discussion Papers 3657, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. 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.
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    4. Cascio, Elizabeth U., 2005. "School Progression and the Grade Distribution of Students: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1747, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
    6. Anne Case & I-Fen Lin & Sara McLanahan, 2000. "Educational Attainment in Blended Families," NBER Working Papers 7874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
    8. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Can migration reduce educational attainment? Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1331-1358, October.
    9. Lofstrom, Magnus, 2007. "Why Are Hispanic and African-American Dropout Rates So High?," IZA Discussion Papers 3265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Miranda, Alfonso, 2007. "Migrant Networks, Migrant Selection, and High School Graduation in Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 3204, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Fitzpatrick Maria D, 2008. "Starting School at Four: The Effect of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Children's Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, November.
    12. Krista Perreira & Kathleen Harris & Dohoon Lee, 2006. "Making it in America: High school completion by immigrant and native youth," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(3), pages 511-536, August.
    13. Jasso, Guillermina & Massey, Douglas S. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Smith, James P., 2008. "From Illegal to Legal: Estimating Previous Illegal Experience among New Legal Immigrants to the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3441, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; education; children; family separation;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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