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EFFECT OF AGE OF ARRIVAL ON REFUGEE PERFORMANCE: EARLY ADOLESCENSE THROUGH EARLY ADULTHOOD

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Are there measurable differences between the human capital of the refugee children born inside and outside of the United States? If so, does the amount of time spent abroad before

Are there measurable differences between the human capital of the refugee children born inside and outside of the United States? If so, does the amount of time spent abroad before immigrating matter, and can we get an idea of what happens to this gap over time? Looking at the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study (CILS) 1991-2006, I examine standardized test scores and other indicators of performance of young Indochinese refugees and immigrants. This study finds evidence for a negative correlation between being born abroad and performance in selected metrics at the time of early adolescence. This is extended into a negative relationship between the lengths of time abroad before coming to the United States (age of arrival) and those same metrics. However, this study finds signs that this gap in human capital is at least partly bridged by the time of early adulthood. It remains unclear though, whether this possible catch up is reflected in other early adult outcomes such as household income.

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  • 2016-05