Peers, Neighborhoods and Immigrant Student Achievement: Evidence from a Placement Policy

29 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2009

See all articles by Olof Aslund

Olof Aslund

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Per-Anders Edin

Uppsala University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Peter Fredriksson

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Uppsala University - Department of Economics

Hans Gronqvist

Stockholm University

Abstract

Immigrants typically perform worse than other students in the OECD countries. We examine to what extent this is due to the population characteristics of the neighborhoods that immigrants grow up in. We address this issue using a governmental refugee placement policy which provides exogenous variation in the initial place of residence in Sweden. The main result is that, for a given share of immigrants in a neighborhood, immigrant school performance is increasing in the number of highly educated adults sharing the subject’s ethnicity. A standard deviation increase in the fraction of highly educated adults in the assigned neighborhood increases compulsory school GPA by 0.9 percentile ranks. This magnitude corresponds to a tenth of the gap in student performance between refugee immigrant and native-born children. We also provide tentative evidence that the overall share of immigrants in the neighborhood has a negative effect on GPA.

Keywords: peer effects, ethnic enclaves, immigration, school performance

JEL Classification: J15, I20, Z13

Suggested Citation

Aslund, Olof and Edin, Per-Anders and Fredriksson, Peter and Gronqvist, Hans, Peers, Neighborhoods and Immigrant Student Achievement: Evidence from a Placement Policy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4521, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1501937

Olof Aslund (Contact Author)

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation ( email )

Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
Sweden
+46 18 471 70 89 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Per-Anders Edin

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

SE-75120 Uppsala
Sweden
+46 18 471 10 97/7 (Phone)
+46 18 471 70 78 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Peter Fredriksson

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Uppsala University - Department of Economics ( email )

SE-75120 Uppsala
Sweden
+46 18 471 7079 (Phone)
+46 18 471 1478 (Fax)

Hans Gronqvist

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

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