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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 4 No. 3 (August 2012)

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Cracks in the Melting Pot: Immigration, School Choice, and Segregation

Article Citation

Cascio, Elizabeth U., and Ethan G. Lewis. 2012. "Cracks in the Melting Pot: Immigration, School Choice, and Segregation." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 4(3): 91-117.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.4.3.91

Abstract

We examine whether low-skilled immigration to the United States has contributed to immigrants' residential isolation by reducing native demand for public schools. We address endogeneity in school demographics using established Mexican settlement patterns in California and use a comparison group to account for immigration's broader effects. We estimate that between 1970 and 2000, the average California school district lost more than 14 non-Hispanic households with children to other districts in its metropolitan area for every 10 additional households enrolling low-English Hispanics in its public schools. By disproportionately isolating children, the native reaction to immigration may have longer-run consequences than previously thought. (JEL H75, I21, J15, J24, J61, R23)

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Authors

Cascio, Elizabeth U. (Dartmouth College)
Lewis, Ethan G. (Dartmouth College)

JEL Classifications

H75: State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
I21: Analysis of Education
J15: Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J61: Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
R23: Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Economics: Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population; Neighborhood Characteristics

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