Report: Do immigrants differ from migrants? Disentangling the impact of mobility on High School completion and performance



STUDENTS, Immigrant


DISTRICT:inquiry on equity in schooling


Stiefel, L.; Schwartz, A.E.; Conger, D.


2008, 8/10/2009


Institute for Educational and Social Policy


While previous evidence finds that foreign-born students perform better than native-born students in their elementary and middle school years, policymakers and practitioners continue to raise concerns about educational outcomes of immigrants who come to the United States in their high school years. Are late entering students able to graduate from high school in a timely manner or do they fall behind? How does their success compare to late entering native-born students - that is, migrant students? How does mobility shape performance and does nativity matter? We use data on a large cohort of New York City public high school students to estimate a standard education production function model and to examine how the performance of immigrant students differs between students who emigrate during high school, middle school or elementary school. We then compare these level of entry disparities to the level of entry disparities experienced by native-born students. Contrary to prior studies, our difference-in-difference estimates suggest that, ceteris paribus, immigrant students do quite well compared to mobile native-born students and high school entrants even better than earlier entering immigrants. Migration appears to be a bigger issue than immigration per se.


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