Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2010:18: Peers, neighborhoods and immigrant student achievement - evidence from a placement policy

Olof Åslund (), Per-Anders Edin (), Peter Fredriksson () and Hans Grönqvist ()
Additional contact information
Olof Åslund: Uppsala Center for Labor Studies, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Per-Anders Edin: Uppsala Center for Labor Studies, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Peter Fredriksson: Uppsala Center for Labor Studies, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Hans Grönqvist: SOFI, Postal: SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We examine to what extent immigrant school performance is affected by the characteristics of the neighborhoods that they grow up in. We address this issue using a refugee place¬ment policy which provides exogenous variation in the initial place of residence in Sweden. The main result is that school performance is increasing in the number of highly educated adults sharing the subject’s ethnicity. A standard deviation increase in the fraction of high-educated in the assigned neighborhood raises compulsory school GPA by 0.9 percentile ranks. Particularly for disadvantaged groups, there are also long-run effects on educational attainment.

Keywords: Peer effects; Ethnic enclaves; Immigration; School performance

JEL-codes: I20; J15; Z13

42 pages, November 30, 2010

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