Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #223

Are Immigrants Graded Worse in Primary and Secondary Education? – Evidence for German Schools

by David Kiss

RWI, 11/2010, 29 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-255-2



Using PIRLS 2001 and PISA 2003 data for Germany, this paper examines whether immigrants attending primary and secondary school are graded worse in math than comparable natives. Controlling for differences in math skills, class fixed effects regressions and results of a matching approach suggest that immigrants have grade disadvantages in primary education. In Germany, track choice after primary education is mainly determined by the average of grades obtained in math and German. Hence, grade disadvantages could lead to lower level track choice. Immigrants who attend the most common secondary school tracks are not graded differently from natives.

JEL-Classification: C40, I21, J15

Keywords: Grading; educational system; migration background; matching