NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Cross-Generational Differences in Educational Outcomes in the Second Great Wave of Immigration

Umut Özek, David N. Figlio

NBER Working Paper No. 22262
Issued in May 2016
NBER Program(s):Children, Economics of Education, Labor Studies

We make use of a new data source – matched birth records and longitudinal student records in Florida – to study the degree to which student outcomes differ across successive immigrant generations. Specifically, we investigate whether first, second, and third generation Asian and Hispanic immigrants in Florida perform differently on reading and mathematics tests, and whether they are differentially likely to get into serious trouble in school, to be truant from school, to graduate from high school, or to be ready for college upon high school graduation. We find evidence suggesting that early-arriving first generation immigrants perform better than do second generation immigrants, and second generation immigrants perform better than third generation immigrants. Among first generation immigrants, the earlier the arrival, the better the students tend to perform. These patterns of findings hold for both Asian and Hispanic students, and suggest a general pattern of successively reduced achievement – beyond a transitional period for recent immigrants – in the generations following the generation that immigrated to the United States.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22262

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