How Important Is It With Whom You Go to School? The Relationship Between Immigrant Peers and Educational Success Across the Entire School Career of Native and Immigrant Students

Marieke Heers , Swiss Foundation for Research in the Social Sciences (FORS)
Melanie Monfrance, Maastricht University
Carla Haelermans, Maastricht University

School immigrant concentration and its relationship with educational outcomes has risen high on political and scientific agendas. Therefore, in this study we analyze how immigrant peer composition affects the educational outcome dropout amongst native and immigrant students. We provide new evidence on the potential mechanisms driving this relationship. The context of our empirical analysis is a socio-economically disadvantaged city in the Netherlands with high dropout rates. We analyze administrative panel data with around 80000 observations and apply fixed effects models to account for endogeneity. We find a higher share of immigrant peers in a school increases the dropout probability for natives and immigrants. This relationship is non-linear and mostly driven by second-generation immigrant peers. In a second part of the analysis, we take a longitudinal perspective and simultaneously account for immigrant shares in primary and secondary and find some long-lasting effects of immigrant peers on dropout probabilities.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth