Friday, May 27, 2016

Immigrants and Education

The latest on the first, second, and third generations:
We make use of a new data source – matched birth records and longitudinal student records in Florida – to study the degree to which student outcomes differ across successive immigrant generations. Specifically, we investigate whether first, second, and third generation Asian and Hispanic immigrants in Florida perform differently on reading and mathematics tests, and whether they are differentially likely to get into serious trouble in school, to be truant from school, to graduate from high school, or to be ready for college upon high school graduation. We find evidence suggesting that early-arriving first generation immigrants perform better than do second generation immigrants, and second generation immigrants perform better than third generation immigrants. Among first generation immigrants, the earlier the arrival, the better the students tend to perform. These patterns of findings hold for both Asian and Hispanic students, and suggest a general pattern of successively reduced achievement – beyond a transitional period for recent immigrants – in the generations following the generation that immigrated to the United States.
Via Marginal Revolution.


G. Verloren said...

I think it makes sense, in that moving to America from a non-english speaking nation requires a lot of effort. Thus, the people who end up making that leap are ones who have the will and drive to put in the effort.

But then their children are born into an easier life, and so aren't required by circumstance to have as strong of a work ethic. And in many ways, that's kind of the goal their parents had to begin with - give their children a better life, where they don't have to work as hard as their parents did.

My grandparents on both sides were first generation immigrants, and broke their backs to succeed. Their children, my parents, still worked reasonably hard, but not as hard as their own parents.

And being third generation myself, I would readily admit I'm far more interested in getting by on the least amount of effort possible - I've never had much serious ambition like my grandparents did, nor had to face anywhere near the adversity they did. I try to be grateful for that, but yet it still isn't much of a motivation to seek out more work when I can live reasonably well off doing less. I don't desire money or status - I'm happy with what I have. Is that the product of all the privilege I've enjoyed, bought from their hard work? I suppose it largely is. And yet, is that such a bad thing? To the best of my knowledge, this is ultimately what they always wanted for their descendants.

szopen said...

regression to mean?