Mexican-Americans in US schools


Pyatigorsky, Mikhail (2010). Mexican-Americans in US schools. 2010 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


This paper analyzes the impact of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants from Mexico, the largest immigrant group in the US, on both native schoolchildren and the Mexican-Americans themselves. My contributions to the literature are twofold. First, I use self-reported friendship data to show that Mexican-Americans have strongly assortative networks that span grade levels. A number of studies have used intra-school grade-level variations in peer characteristics to identify peer effects, relying on the assumption that classmates are the relevant peer group. My findings demonstrate that, in the case of Mexican-American adolescents, this assumption is invalid. Second, contrary to what we might expect given previous results on immigration, I find little evidence of between- or within-group negative effects of Mexican-American students. My results suggest that having Mexican-American classmates is not significantly correlated with natives’ college attendance, or with variables such as engagement in risky behavior, delinquency, or sexual activity. There is also no statistically significant effect of having Mexican-American friends on Mexican-Americans’ own long-term academic outcomes.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2010 Add Health Users Conference


Pyatigorsky, Mikhail

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID