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Is there an immigrant-gender gap in education? An empirical investigation based on PISA data from Italy

Tindara Addabbo (), Maddalena Davoli and Marina Murat ()

Center for Economic Research (RECent) from University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi"

Abstract: Gender and origin background are widely accepted in the economics of education literature as factors that highly correlate with educational outcomes. However, little attention has been devoted so far to the interaction of these two dimensions. We use Italian data from PISA 2015 to investigate potential immigrant-gender gaps in education. We find that, as expected, girls outperform boys in reading and are outperformed by them in math and science. In addition, immigrant students’ scores are persistently below those of natives. However, interestingly, we find that being immigrant and female does not imply a double disadvantage in math and science. On the contrary, immigrant girls slightly compensate for the immigrant gap in all disciplines. Moreover, the wider gap we find is that of immigrant boys in reading: it ranges from to 0.66 to 2 school years with respect to native boys. Language spoken at home is one of the main cofactors affecting immigrant boy’s scores. Targeted policies should therefore be implemented.

Keywords: immigrant-gender gap; education; OECD-PISA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 F22 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur, nep-gen, nep-mig and nep-ure
Date: 2018-02
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