CEPII, Recherche et Expertise sur l'economie mondiale
Jeudi 30 novembre 2023
2.00-3.15 pm (CET) - CEPII, 20, avenue de Ségur 75007 Paris
"When Non-Native Speakers Compete for Top Schools: Displacement and Peer Effects in Primary Education". The CEPII research seminar with Francesco Fasani,  University of Milan, CEPR, CReAM and IZA

Francesco Fasani
Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods, University of Milan, CReAM, CEPR and IZA
Francesco Fasani will present "When Non-Native Speakers Compete for Top Schools: Displacement and Peer Effects in Primary Education" (co-authored with Elisa Facchetti, Elisabetta Pasini, Barbara Petrongolo).
This study explores the impact of international migration on native students’ educational achievements. Following the 2004 EU enlargement, a substantial influx of Polish students heightened competition for primary education in the UK, particularly in Catholic schools, which are among the nation’s top educational institutions. The authors' identification strategy predicts migrants’ location choices with a novel instrumental variable that leverages the quasi-random allocation of migrants following a WWII dispersal policy. Combining historical data on Polish settlements with comprehensive administrative records on students in primary schools in England, they find that migrants led to the displacement of native students from Catholic schools toward non-faith schools. Their estimates reveal substantial displacement effects, with native students moving to schools offering similar value-added education and proximity to their homes but featuring a higher proportion of lower-performing and disadvantaged peers. However, their analysis uncovers that the presence of migrants improved test scores among native students. Focusing on native pupils with siblings already enrolled in schools, and hence shielded from displacement risk, they provide evidence that changes in peer composition - caused by both migrant and (displaced) native pupils - generated positive peer effects on native kids. In summary, the authors' findings suggest that despite heightened competition for school placements due to migrants, their presence can enhance the educational outcomes of native students.

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