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Haelermans, C. and Heers, M.: The effects of immigrant student concentration on educational outcomes of native and immigrant students

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Working Paper

The educational achievement-gap between immigrant and native students is widely established, however, the evidence on how the share of immigrants in educational settings affect the performance of immigrant and native students is inconclusive. Therefore, this study evaluates the impact of immigrant student concentration in Dutch primary and secondary schools on educational outcomes of immigrant and native students in secondary education. We use Dutch administrative data that follow students’ placements into secondary school tracks and records whether students drop out from secondary school. Endogeneity is tackled by using neighborhood immigrant concentration and distance from home to school as instruments for immigrant student concentration in schools. Primary school immigrant concentration is an additional instrument for secondary school immigrant concentration. Novelties are that we follow students longitudinally and that this is one of the few studies that differentiates effects for native and immigrant students.
We find that students with a higher immigrant concentration in school more often attend lower tracks and have higher dropout probabilities in secondary school. The effect on dropout is higher when primary school immigrant concentration is taken into account. Previous studies seem to have underestimated this effect. Differentiated analyses reveal that the results are driven by immigrant students.

Key words:
Immigrant student concentration, educational outcomes, dropout, school composition.

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