October 2015

IZA DP No. 9433: Speaking in Numbers: The Effect of Reading Performance on Math Performance among Immigrants

published in: Economics Letters, 2016, 139: 52-56

This paper is the first to estimate a causal effect of immigrant students' reading performance on their math performance. To overcome endogeneity issues due to unobserved ability, we apply an IV approach exploiting variation in age-at-arrival and the linguistic distance between origin and destination country languages. Using four PISA waves, we find a strong influence of reading performance on math performance, highlighting the importance of early language support for immigrants for their educational career.