The skill development of children of immigrants

Marie Hull, Jonathan Norris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this paper, we study the evolution of cognitive and noncognitive skills gaps
for children of immigrants between kindergarten and 5th grade using two cohorts of elementary school students. We find some evidence that children of immigrants begin school with lower math scores than children of natives, but this gap disappears in later elementary school. For noncognitive skills, children of immigrants and children of natives score similarly in early elementary school, but a positive gap opens up in 2nd grade. We find that the growth in noncognitive skills is driven by disadvantaged immigrant students. We discuss potential explanations for the observed patterns of skill development as well as the implications of our results for the labor market prospects of children of immigrants.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102036
Number of pages17
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Early online date25 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2020


  • labor market dynamics
  • children of immmigrants
  • skill development

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    • 1 Discussion paper

    The Skill Development of Children of Immigrants

    Hull, M. & Norris, J., 23 May 2020, Glasgow: University of Strathclyde, p. 1-62, 63 p.

    Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

    Open Access
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