Do Significant Immigrant Inflows Create Negative Education Impacts? Lessons from the North Carolina Public School System

51 Pages Posted: 26 May 2012

See all articles by Timothy M. Diette

Timothy M. Diette

Washington and Lee University

Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere

Morehouse College; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

The influx of immigrants has shifted the ethnic composition of public schools in many states. Given the perceived negative impact of significant immigrant inflows, we are interested in investigating if these inflows into a school affect the academic performance of native students who remain. To address this question, we analyze education data from North Carolina, a state that has experienced a significant immigrant influx in the last two decades. We focus on the share of the English Language Learners in the student population for students between fourth and eighth grade over the period from 1999 to 2006 and the potential effects of the presence of these students on the level of achievement in math and reading for native students. Our analysis suggests some evidence of immigrant peer effects though the effects are heterogeneous. Specifically, we find some evidence of positive effects among those in the middle and bottom portions of the achievement distribution while we find small negative effects at the top of the distribution.

Keywords: immigrants, student achievement, peer effects, education

JEL Classification: I20, I21, J15, J24

Suggested Citation

Diette, Timothy M. and Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, Do Significant Immigrant Inflows Create Negative Education Impacts? Lessons from the North Carolina Public School System. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6561, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2066984 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2066984

Timothy M. Diette (Contact Author)

Washington and Lee University ( email )

204 W Washington St
Lexington, VA 24450
5404588220 (Phone)

Ruth Uwaifo Oyelere

Morehouse College ( email )

Department of Economics
Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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