Diversity in Schools: Immigrants and the Educational Performance of U.S. Born Students

78 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021 Last revised: 27 Mar 2021

See all articles by David Figlio

David Figlio

Northwestern University

Paola Giuliano

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Riccardo Marchingiglio

Analysis Group; Northwestern University

Umut Ozek

American Institutes for Research

Paola Sapienza

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2021

Abstract

We study the effect of exposure to immigrants on the educational outcomes of US-born students, using a unique dataset combining population-level birth and school records from Florida. This research question is complicated by substantial school selection of US-born students, especially among White and comparatively affluent students, in response to the presence of immigrant students in the school. We propose a new identification strategy to partial out the unobserved non-random selection into schools, and find that the presence of immigrant students has a positive effect on the academic achievement of US-born students, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Moreover, the presence of immigrants does not affect negatively the performance of affluent US-born students, who typically show a higher academic achievement compared to immigrant students. We provide suggestive evidence on potential channels.

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Suggested Citation

Figlio, David and Giuliano, Paola and Marchingiglio, Riccardo and Ozek, Umut and Sapienza, Paola, Diversity in Schools: Immigrants and the Educational Performance of U.S. Born Students (March 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w28596, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3809568

David Figlio (Contact Author)

Northwestern University ( email )

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Paola Giuliano

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Riccardo Marchingiglio

Analysis Group ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90071
United States

Northwestern University ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Umut Ozek

American Institutes for Research

Paola Sapienza

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management - Department of Finance ( email )

Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-7436 (Phone)
847-491-5719 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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