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

Author(s): David Figlio, Paola Giuliano, Riccardo Marchingiglio, Umut Ozek and Paola Sapienza

Publication Date: March 2021

Keyword(s): Educational Attainment and Immigrant students

Programme Area(s): Labour Economics

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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Bibliographic Reference

Figlio, D, Giuliano, P, Marchingiglio, R, Ozek, U and Sapienza, P. 2021. 'Diversity in Schools: Immigrants and the Educational Performance of U.S. Born Students'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.