A new GLO Discussion Paper shows for Italy that immigrant children face a double disadvantage reducing school performance in Italian and Math substantially.
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GLO Discussion Paper No. 761, 2021
Age Effects in Education: A Double Disadvantage for Second-Generation Immigrant Children– Download PDF
by Abatemarco, Antonio & Cavallo, Mariagrazia & Marino, Immacolata & Russo, Giuseppe
GLO Fellow Giuseppe Russo
Author Abstract: A double disadvantage occurs when the interaction of two disadvantages generates an additional disadvantage. We show that second-generation immigrant children in the Italian primary school experience a double disadvantage that, relative to the average native, reduces scores in Italian by 17% and in Math by 20%. The double disadvantage stems from the interaction of the immigration background with age effects (namely, Absolute Age Effect and Relative Age Effect). In a policy perspective, we show that controlling for age effects in class composition criteria pursues integration because it delivers extra benefits to second-generation immigrant children. Besides, we point out the possibility of exploiting the larger impact of the relative age on second-generation children in order to support their performance and reduce the large penalization associated to the immigration background.
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