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The academic progress of Hispanic immigrants

Economics of Education Review Volume 57, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Past research has shown that Hispanic students make test score gains relative to whites as they age through school; however, this finding stands in contrast to the experience of blacks, who show little change in their relative position over the same time frame. Distinguishing Hispanic students by immigrant generation, I find that the children of immigrants (first- and second-generation Hispanics) drive the improvement in Hispanic test scores. Later-generation Hispanics consistently perform slightly below whites, perhaps due to negative selection into ethnic identification. Thus, previous estimates vastly understate the progress of first- and second-generation Hispanic immigrants. From a negative gap in 3rd grade, these students surpass socioeconomically similar whites in math and reading by middle school and end 8th grade as much as a quarter of a standard deviation ahead. Assimilation alone cannot explain this progress; a potential explanation is that immigrant parents create a home environment that fosters achievement.


Hull, M.C. (2017). The academic progress of Hispanic immigrants. Economics of Education Review, 57(1), 91-110. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved December 5, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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