Educational Achievement of Immigrants in Western Countries: Origin, Destination, and Community Effects on Mathematical Performance
Title: Educational Achievement of Immigrants in Western Countries: Origin, Destination, and Community Effects on Mathematical Performance
Series/Number: EUI SPS; 2007/05
Why do immigrants in different countries perform differently at school, and what explains the fact that immigrants from different countries of origin perform differently? This paper explores the extent to which the macro-level characteristics of destination and origin countries and immigrant communities can explain differences in educational achievement. Using data from the 2003 PISA survey, analyses on the mathematical performance of 7459 immigrants, originating in 48 different countries and 94 communities, in 13 countries of destination are performed. Cross-classified multilevel analysis shows that the better educational performance of immigrants in traditional immigrant receiving countries cannot be reduced to compositional effects caused by strict immigration laws. Furthermore, it is found that immigrants from predominantly Islamic countries perform worse at school than immigrants from predominantly Christian countries. This can be explained by the greater cultural and socioeconomic distance from the native population. Results indicate that the characteristics of countries of destination, countries of origin and immigrant communities are an important component in explaining differences in the educational performance of immigrants.
Subject: Educational achievement; Immigrants; Cross-national comparison; Countries of origin; Countries of destination
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