Disparities in the Educational Success of Immigrants: An Assessment of the Immigrant Effect for Asians and Latinos

Journal Article

This study employs nationally representative data to determine how immigrants from the largest immigrant groups within the United States (i.e., Asians and Latinos) compare to whites on a wide range of educational outcomes. The authors also examine the extent to which socioeconomic background and immigrant characteristics explain racial/ethnic difference in academic outcomes. In addition, this study includes analyses that omit whites and compare immigrants to their nonimmigrant counterparts. Previous studies typically use whites as a basis for comparison, which the authors argue may not be appropriate for isolating the immigrant effect on scholastic outcomes. Findings show Asian immigrants have better educational outcomes than whites, which is accounted for by their immigrant characteristics. In contrast, Mexican and Puerto Rican immigrants have lower educational outcomes than whites, most of which is explained by socioeconomic background. Furthermore, findings illustrate the importance of employing the proper reference group for immigration scholars.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Harris, AL; Jamison, KM; Trujillo, MH

Published Date

  • 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 620 / ArticleType: research-article / Issue Title: Exceptional Outcomes: Achievement in Education and Employment among Children of Immigrants / Full publication date: Nov., 2008 / Copyright © 2008 American Academy of Political and Social Science

Start / End Page

  • 90 - 114

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-7162

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2307/40375812