Benefits of Education at the Intensive Margin: Childhood Academic Performance and Adult Outcomes Among American Immigrants

49 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2014

See all articles by Deniz Gevrek

Deniz Gevrek

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-College of Business; IZA

Z. Eylem Gevrek

University of Arizona; University of Konstanz - Department of Economics

Cahit Guven

Deakin University - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance

Abstract

Using the Children of the Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS), we examine the association between education at the intensive margin and twenty pecuniary and non-pecuniary adult outcomes among first- and second-generation American immigrant youth. Education at the intensive margin is measured by two widely used standardized math and reading test scores, national percentile rankings on these tests and cumulative grade point average (GPA) in both middle and high school. Our findings provide evidence that the academic achievement of immigrant children in early adolescence is an accurate predictor of later life outcomes.We also examine a novel hypothesis that relative academic performance of immigrant children in high school compared to middle school, which could be an indicator of change in adolescent aspirations and motivation as well as the degree of adaptation and assimilation to the host country, has an effect on their adult outcomes even after controlling for the levels of academic performance in middle and high school. The results suggest that an improvement in GPA from middle school to high school is associated with favorable adult outcomes. Several sensitivity tests confirm the robustness of main findings.

Keywords: economics of education, human capital, immigrant well-being, immigrant academic performance, immigrant assimilation

JEL Classification: I2, J15, J24

Suggested Citation

Gevrek, Deniz and Gevrek, Zahide Eylem and Guven, Cahit, Benefits of Education at the Intensive Margin: Childhood Academic Performance and Adult Outcomes Among American Immigrants. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8697, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2543891

Deniz Gevrek (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi-College of Business ( email )

6300 Ocean Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
United States

Zahide Eylem Gevrek

University of Arizona ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

University of Konstanz - Department of Economics ( email )

Konstanz, D-78457
Germany

Cahit Guven

Deakin University - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance ( email )

221 Burwood Highway
Burwood, Victoria 3215
Australia

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