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Age-of-Arrival Effects on the Education of Immigrant Children: A Sibling Study

Sukanya Basu

Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 2018, vol. 39, issue 3, 474-493

Abstract: Abstract We analysed the effects of late entry on the human capital of immigrant children, and investigated the channels via which age-at-migration affects the native-immigrant education gap. Ordinary-least-squares estimates could have been biased if parents factored the age of children into their migration decision. Using a sample of siblings from the 2000 US Census, we employed a family fixed-effects estimation strategy and found a negative and convex relationship between human capital and age-of-arrival. Teenage entrants’ outcomes were worst affected compared to younger entrants. Language was found to be an important mediating factor via which age-of-arrival influenced education. The critical age for English proficiency was 8–10. Age-of-arrival affected education not only through language but also via heterogeneous origin country conditions. The additional privileges of birth-right citizenship, if any, were disentangled from the benefits of zero age-of-arrival for natives. Citizenship by birth provided few advantages, except for college enrollment. Results were robust to sample selection changes.

Keywords: Age-of-arrival; Education; Immigrant children; Siblings study; Family fixed-effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 J1 J13 J15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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