Open Access



Through the analysis of 25 OECD countries, this article seeks to investigate the assumption that political macro level variables such as welfare state systems and immigration-regimes shape the conditions encountered by young immigrants and thus impact on their school performance. The results show that native students benefit from social-democratic welfare states and immigration-friendly integration-regimes, whereas immigrant students actually suffer under these types of regimes. So while the finding for native students supports the argument found in the body of literature, claiming that social-democratic welfare states lead to a reduction in inequality and to less stratification, the findings for immigrant students suggests that positive discrimination may under some circumstances lead to a counterproductive result. The argument is tested with a multilevel modeling procedure on three levels (student, school and country) basing on four different data sources (PISA 2006, MIPEX 2007, Comparative