José Tessada; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

"Educating a melting pot: Estimating the impact of historical immigration on US educational system"

Abstract

We explore how immigration has impacted the US education system during the last Great Migration.  We estimate the causal impact of adult and children immigration separately on natives' education at the state-cohort level in the United States from 1910 to 1935. We find limited evidence that more adult immigrants incentivized natives to acquire more education but strong patterns suggesting that more migrant children led natives to be `”crowded out'' of the system.  The impact of immigrants on native's educational attainment was strongest for urban males of U.S.-born parents.  We find evidence that the pressure generated by the arrival of more immigrant children reduced expenditures per students, particularly expenditures on personnel, despite student-teacher ratios remaining fairly constant.  Despite these added pressures on the public school system through the arrival of new immigrant children, we find limited evidence of “native flight''.

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