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Barbara PETRONGOLO (London School of Economics) – When migrants compete for top schools : School displacement and peer effects in primary education

March 14 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Applied Micro Seminar : Every Tuesday
Time: 12:15 pm – 13:30 pm
Date: 14th of March
Room : 3001

Barbara PETRONGOLO (London School of Economics) – “When migrants compete for top schools : School displacement and peer effects in primary education”

Abstract :

We study the impact of migrants’ demand for school places on school displacement and achievement of native students, exploiting the unprecedented migrant inflows into the UK that followed the 2004 EU enlargement. We predict migrants’ location in the UK based on a novel instrument that exploits variation from the 1940s dispersal policy of Polish troops. We find that the increased presence of foreign students displaces natives from faith, high-achieving primary schools in the public sector. Natives are displaced towards schools with similar value added and distance from home, but with a higher proportion of lower performing and disadvantaged peers. We find that migrants’ presence is on average associated with higher test scores among natives. We provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that displaced students generate beneficial peer effects on native pupils exposed to them following displacement. These findings suggest that migrants’ presence has overall net positive effects on the educational outcomes of natives via gains at the bottom of the attainment distribution.


Joint work with : Elisa Facchetti, Francesco Fasani and Elisabetta Pasini



Benoît SCHMUTZ (Pôle d’économie du CREST)
Roland RATHELOT (Pôle d’économie du CREST)