Migrant Youths' Educational Achievement: The Role of Institutions

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, Mathias Sinning, Steven Stillman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The authors use 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data to link institutional arrangements in OECD countries' to disparities in reading, math, and science test scores for migrant and native-born students. The authors find that achievement gaps are larger for migrant youths who arrive at older ages and for those who do not speak the language of the PISA test at home. Institutional arrangements often serve to mitigate the achievement gaps of some migrant students while leaving unaffected or exacerbating those of others. For example, earlier school starting ages help migrant youths in some cases but by no means in all. Limited tracking of students by ability appears to be beneficial for migrants' relative achievement, while complete tracking and the presence of a large private school sector appear to be detrimental. Migrant students' achievement, relative to their native-born peers, suffers as educational spending and teachers' salaries increase, but it improves when teacher evaluation includes an examination component.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18-45
    JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
    Issue number1 (Sept 2012)
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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