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Reading Performance and Math Performance of Second-Generation Children in Italy

Mariagrazia Cavallo and Giuseppe Russo
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Mariagrazia Cavallo: University of Bristol and Università di Salerno

CSEF Working Papers from Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy

Abstract: This paper studies the effect of language proficiency on Math achievement for ten-year-old second-generation children in Italy. Through an IV given by the interaction between age and linguistic distance, we find that a higher score in Italian reduces the score in Math. This outcome is led by children with insufficient command of Italian (namely, those whose reading score is below 95% of the natives' average) and suggests that these students can improve their Italian only at the cost of reducing their performance in other subjects. This delay in language acquisition may undermine equality of opportunities from childhood.

Keywords: Second generations; language; math performance; linguistic distance; instrumental variable (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-01-13
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-ure
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