Working Papers

Do Refugee Students Affect the Academic Achievement of their Peers? Evidence from a Large Urban School District (revision requested by Economics of Education Review)

Abstract: Policy debate on refugee resettlement focuses on perceived adverse effects on local communities, with sparse credible evidence to ascertain its impact. This paper examines whether attending school with refugees affects the academic outcomes of non-refugee students. Leveraging variation in the share of refugees within schools and across grades, I find that increasing the share of grade-level refugees by 1 pp results in a 0.01 sd increase in average math scores. While I find no effect on average English Language Arts scores, using nonlinear-in-means specifications I estimate negative spillovers in ELA performance among low-achieving students and positive spillovers among high-achieving students. 

The Impact of English Learner Classification and ESL Delivery Method on Academic Achievement (under review)

Abstract: School districts serving newcomer English Learners (ELs) generally offer short-term intensive English programs designed to teach basic English skills and guide students’ integration into the US school system. Despite the growing popularity of newcomer programs, however, there is limited rigorous evidence of their efficacy. I present evidence on the causal effect of an intensive English program on the academic achievement of newcomer ELs. Access to the program is determined by a test score cutoff which I leverage to employ a regression discontinuity design. Results show that students who participate in the newcomer program have lower math achievement relative to those who received traditional language development support. These negative impacts suggest that newcomer programs can result in short-term academic setbacks for students with relatively higher initial English proficiency.

Immigration Enforcement and Labor Supply: Hispanic Youth in Mixed-Status Families (with J. Rubalcaba and J. Bucheli)

This study evaluates the labor supply behavior of US-born Hispanic youth in response to immigration enforcement. Our investigation draws on the added-worker effect and underscores immigration enforcement actions as a factor influencing labor supply decisions within immigrant families. We argue that while immigration enforcement induces a decline in labor supply among likely undocumented immigrants, the labor supply among US-born Hispanic youth in mixed-status families increases. Using the Current Population Survey and data on immigration-related arrests between 2014--2018, we find that an unexpected surge in arrests increases labor force participation of US-born Hispanic youth by approximately 6-percentage points---a 27 percent increase, and results in higher weekly hours worked by up to 20 percent.  

Works in Progress

The Effect of Dual Language Immersion Programs on Student Achievement: Evidence from Georgia Schools


The Impact of DACA on Occupation Choices Among Undocumented Migrants (with A. Chin and K. Cortes)

Non-cognitive Skills and Earnings: Evidence from a Cross Country Analysis (with T. Musaddiq)

Differences between Refugee and Immigrant Students' Peer Effects

Imputing Refugee Status from Large-Scale Datasets

Policy Papers

The Effect of Dual Language Immersion Programs on Student Outcomes (with T. Sass) Link to brief
Effects of an Intensive English Program on Students' Math and English Scores (with T. Sass) Link to brief
Refugee Students and Peer Effects (with T. Sass) Link to brief
Grade Retention Policies and Student Success (with K. Canton and D. Kreisman) Link to brief