The Effect of Immigrant Peers in Vocational Schools

50 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2018

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 Maschi

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia

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Date Written: November 2018

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 additional role played by ethnic diversity.

Keywords: education, ethnic diversity, Immigration, linguistic distance, peer effects

JEL Classification: I20, J15

Suggested Citation

Frattini, Tommaso and Maschi, Elena, The Effect of Immigrant Peers in Vocational Schools (November 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13305, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3283009

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 Maschi

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy

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