The Effect of Immigrant Peers in Vocational Schools

40 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017

See all articles by Tommaso Frattini

Tommaso Frattini

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); University of Milan - Department of Economics, Business and Statistics

Elena F. Meschi

University of Warwick - Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR); Polytechnic University of Marche

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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.

Keywords: immigration, education, peer effects, vocational training, language

JEL Classification: I20, J15

Suggested Citation

Frattini, Tommaso and Meschi, Elena F., The Effect of Immigrant Peers in Vocational Schools. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11027, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3045722

Tommaso Frattini (Contact Author)

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, Mi 20122
Italy

University of Milan - Department of Economics, Business and Statistics ( email )

Via Festa del Perdono, 7
Milan, 20122
Italy

Elena F. Meschi

University of Warwick - Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR) ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Polytechnic University of Marche

Piazzale Martelli 8
Ancona, 18039
Italy

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