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Immigrant Concentration at School and Natives’ Achievement: Does Length of Stay in the Host Country Matter?

Bossavie, Laurent (2017): Immigrant Concentration at School and Natives’ Achievement: Does Length of Stay in the Host Country Matter?

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Abstract

Using a rich dataset of primary school students in the Netherlands, this paper investigates the effects of immigrant concentration in the classroom on the academic achievement of natives. It exploits rare information on age-at-migration to estimate separate spillover effects by duration of stay of immigrant classmates in the Netherlands. To identify treatment effects, it uses attractive features of the Dutch primary school system and cohort-by-cohort deviations in immigrant concentration within schools. While we find that immigrant children who recently arrived generate negative effects on natives' performance, we report no impact of immigrants who have been in the country for a longer period. The negative effect of the concentration of recent migrants in the classroom is stronger for natives with low parental education. The importance of taking into account heterogeneity in the duration of stay of immigrant peers could explain the mixed findings reported by previous work.

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