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Peer diversity, college performance and educational choices

Arnaud Chevalier, Ingo Isphording () and Elena Lisauskaite

Labour Economics, 2020, vol. 64, issue C

Abstract: We study the effect of ethno-linguistic classroom composition on performance, educational choices and post-graduation migration of students. In the setting of a British University where assignment to seminars is plausibly exogenous, we define two measures of classroom composition: the share of non-native speakers and the linguistic diversity of the non-speaker group. Non-native speaker’s performance benefits from greater linguistic diversity. Native speakers are unaffected by classroom composition. Survey information points to changed interaction patterns in the classroom as a likely mechanism. While ethno-linguistic seminar composition has no meaningful impact on subsequent course choice, the effect of initial diversity on grades persists until the final year of study. The results imply that avoiding segregation along language lines is key in providing education for an international student body.

Keywords: Higher education; Diversity; Peer effects; Foreign students (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 J15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2020.101833

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