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Age Effects in Education: A Double Disadvantage for Second-Generation Immigrant Children


  • Abatemarco, Antonio
  • Cavallo, Mariagrazia
  • Marino, Immacolata
  • Russo, Giuseppe


A double disadvantage occurs when the interaction of two disadvantages generates an additional disadvantage. We show that second-generation immigrant children in the Italian primary school experience a double disadvantage that, relative to the average native, reduces scores in Italian by 17% and in Math by 20%. The double disadvantage stems from the interaction of the immigration background with age effects (namely, Absolute Age Effect and Relative Age Effect). In a policy perspective, we show that controlling for age effects in class composition criteria pursues integration because it delivers extra benefits to second-generation immigrant children. Besides, we point out the possibility of exploiting the larger impact of the relative age on second-generation children in order to support their performance and reduce the large penalization associated to the immigration background.

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  • Abatemarco, Antonio & Cavallo, Mariagrazia & Marino, Immacolata & Russo, Giuseppe, 2021. "Age Effects in Education: A Double Disadvantage for Second-Generation Immigrant Children," GLO Discussion Paper Series 761, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:761

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ballatore, Rosario Maria & Paccagnella, Marco & Tonello, Marco, 2020. "Bullied because younger than my mates? The effect of age rank on victimisation at school," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
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    5. 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.
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    More about this item


    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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