This study is the first empirical analysis to identify the causal effect of a separate preparatory language learning class on the academic success of newly immigrated primary school-aged children in comparison to their direct integration into regular classrooms. Employing unique administrative panel data from the German federal state Hamburg between 2013 and 2019, we use the quasi-random allocation of refugee children to neighborhoods and, therewith, schools to measure the effect of the two educational integration models on standardized test scores and the probability of attending an academic track in secondary school.
Our results show that primary school-aged refugees who visit a preparatory class perform significantly worse in standardized test scores in fifth grade. The negative effect is particularly strong for Math and German. They further have a slightly lower probability to attend the academic track. Overall, our results indicate that integrating newly immigrated children directly into regular classrooms fosters their academic achievement more than schooling them first in preparatory classes with a focus on language learning.
Presented at: CESifo / ifo Junior Workshop on the Economics of Education (April 2023), AlpPop (January 2023), SEA 92nd Annual Meeting (November 2022), Economics of migration junior seminar (October 2022), Stratification Workshop Princeton (October 2022), 7th IZA Workshop on the Economics of Education (September 2022), EALE 2022 (September 2022), EEA 2022 (August 2022), CEMIR Junior Economist Workshop on Migration Research (July 2022), 23rd IZA Summer School in Labor Economics in Buch am Ammersee (May, 2022), First joint Workshop of Applied Macro and Microeconomics in Bolzano (December 2021)
Exploiting the random allocation of asylum seekers to different locations in Germany, we study the impact of native attitudes, proxied by voting behaviors, on refugees’ integration. We find that in municipalities with more voting for the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party, refugees have worse social integration. These impacts are largest for groups targeted by AfD campaigns. Refugees are also more likely to suffer from harassment and right-wing attacks in areas with greater AfD support. Positive interactions with locals are also less likely and negative opinions about immigration spillover to supporters of other parties in these areas. On the other hand, stronger support for pro-immigrant parties enhances social integration.
Schilling, Pia and Stillman, Steven (2021). The Impact of Natives' Attitudes Towards Immigrants on Their Integration in the Host Country. CESifo Working Paper No. 9308
Note: Effect of AfD vote shares in municipalities on the economic and social integration index of refugees.
Presented at: RGS Doctoral Conference in Economics (February 2022), Paris School of Economics Migration Summer School (July 2021), BENA Labor Economics Worksop (December 2020)
Work in Progress
What do you Want to become? Career Aspiration and School Performance. Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment (with Federico Maggio)
Presented at: UPF Student Seminar (October 2021)
In this study, we will analyze whether linguistic barriers and a lack of knowledge about the German school system hinders immigrant parents from making an informed decision about their children’s school track. As part of a randomized control trial in North Rhine-Westphalia, parents of fourth-graders are provided a (multilingual) mobile application containing useful information for making an informed decision for their child's secondary school. Three versions of the App will be randomly assigned to elementary schools.