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The effect of immigrant peers in vocational schools

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  • Tommaso Frattini

    (University of Milan, LdA, CReAM and IZA)

  • Elena Meschi

    (Department of Economics, University Of Venice CÃ Foscari)

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on how the presence of immigrant peers in the classroom affects native student achievement. The analysis is based on longitudinal administrative data on two cohorts of vocational training students in Italy's largest region. Vocational training institutions provide the ideal setting for studying these effects because they attract not only disproportionately high shares of immigrants but also the lowest ability native students. We adopt a value added model, and exploit within-school variation both within and across cohorts for identification. Our results show small negative average effects on maths test scores that are larger for low ability native students, strongly non-linear and only observable in classes with a high (top 20%) immigrant concentration. These outcomes are driven by classes with a high average linguistic distance between immigrants and natives, with no apparent role played by ethnic diversity.

Suggested Citation

  • Tommaso Frattini & Elena Meschi, 2017. "The effect of immigrant peers in vocational schools," Working Papers 2017:20, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  • Handle: RePEc:ven:wpaper:2017:20
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    Cited by:

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    3. Julia Bredtmann & Sebastian Otten & Christina Vonnahme, 2021. "Linguistic diversity in the classroom, student achievement, and social integration," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 121-142, March.
    4. Corazzini, Luca & Meschi, Elena & Pavese, Caterina, 2021. "Impact of early childcare on immigrant children’s educational performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).
    5. Alexander M. Danzer & Carsten Feuerbaum & Marc Piopiunik & Ludger Woessmann, 2022. "Growing up in ethnic enclaves: language proficiency and educational attainment of immigrant children," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 35(3), pages 1297-1344, July.
    6. Morales, Camila, 2022. "Do refugee students affect the academic achievement of peers? Evidence from a large urban school district," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    7. Mariani, Rama Dasi & Pasquini, Alessandra & Rosati, Furio C., 2020. "Elementary Facts about Immigration in Italy: What Do We Know about Immigration and Its Impact?," IZA Discussion Papers 13181, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Dale-Olsen, Harald & Finseraas, Henning, 2020. "Linguistic diversity and workplace productivity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    9. Çakır, Selcen & Erbay, Elif & Kirdar, Murat G., 2021. "Syrian Refugees and Human Capital Accumulation of Native Children in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 14972, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Chevalier, Arnaud & Isphording, Ingo E. & Lisauskaite, Elena, 2020. "Peer diversity, college performance and educational choices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    11. Jürges, Hendrik & Makles, Anna M. & Naghavi, Arash & Schneider, Kerstin, 2022. "Melting pot kindergarten: The effect of linguistic diversity in early education," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    12. Kelvin K. C. Seah, 2021. "Impact of Immigrant Peers on Native Students’ Achievement: Evidence from Australia, Canada and the United States," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 54(1), pages 94-116, March.
    13. Green, Colin & Iversen, Jon Marius Vaag, 2022. "Refugees and the educational attainment of natives: Evidence from Norway," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; education; peer effects; vocational training; language;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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