Increases in immigration raise a range of challenges for schools. Existing research primarily investigates the impact of immigrants on native test scores and demonstrates mixed results. Using Norwegian register data and narrow within-school, within-family comparisons, we demonstrate negative effects of refugees on native math performance, and no effect on English or Norwegian performance. These effects are concentrated amongst groups of refugee children who themselves face the greatest educational difficulties, while other groups have zero to positive effects. Our results suggest a need for targeted policy aimed at helping immigrant children most likely to face educational difficulties, while suggesting caution in generalising results from specific refugee episodes.

DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2022.102258
ISSN: 0272-7757