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This paper empirically analyzes the effects of immigration on the schooling decisions of natives. We employ household-level data for Spain for years 2000-2015, a period characterized by high economic growth and large immigration that was halted by a long and severe recession. Our estimates reveal that increases in immigrant density at the school level triggered an important native flight from tuition-free, public schools toward private ones. We also find strong evidence of cream-skimming as more educated native households are the most likely to switch to private schools in response to immigration. Furthermore, we find that immigration leads to higher student-teacher ratios in public schools. We conclude that our results are consistent with the predictions of a politicaleconomy model of school choice.


This is the author's accepted manuscript of an article published as: Farre, Lidia, Francesc Ortega and Ryuichi Tanaka. "Immigration and the Public-Private School Choice." Labour Economics, vol. 51, 2018.

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Available for download on Thursday, January 16, 2020