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Do inequalities in parents' education play an important role in PISA students' mathematics achievement test score disparities?

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  • Martins, Lurdes
  • Veiga, Paula

Abstract

This paper measures and decomposes socioeconomic-related inequality in mathematics achievement in 15 European Union member states. Data is taken from the 2003 wave of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). There is socioeconomic-related inequality in mathematics achievement, favoring the higher socioeconomic groups in each country. There are important differences among countries. The inequality is higher in Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Belgium, and Portugal and is lower in Sweden and Finland. Socioeconomic factors represent between 14.9% and 34.6% of the overall inequality in education. The decomposition exercises add important insights for policy. Despite the differences, EU-15 member states can be categorized into two main groups. The first includes the Nordic countries plus Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and Greece, where socioeconomic-related inequality appears to be explained mainly by the students' background characteristics. In Portugal and, to a lesser extent, in Spain the high contribution of socioeconomic background is mainly due to the prevalence of high socioeconomic inequality and socioeconomic concentration of educational resources. The second group includes Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and France. In these countries, the high impact of schools' composition on individual achievement is the main driver of the studied inequality. Differences between countries are also explored.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1016-1033

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:6:p:1016-1033

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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Keywords: Educational economics Input output analysis;

References

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Cited by:
  1. Raul Ramos & Juan Carlos Duque & Sandra Nieto, 2012. "“Decomposing the Rural-Urban Differential in Student Achievement in Colombia Using PISA Microdata”," AQR Working Papers 201210, University of Barcelona, Regional Quantitative Analysis Group, revised Mar 2013.
  2. Alina Botezat & Ruben R. Seiberlich, 2013. "Educational performance gaps in Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 21(4), pages 731-756, October.
  3. Sandra Nieto & Raul Ramos & Juan Carlos Duque, 2012. "Rural-urban differences in educational outcomes: Evidence for Colombia using PISA microdata," ERSA conference papers ersa12p388, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "The long-lasting effects of family background: A European cross-country comparison," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 25-42.
  5. Gamboa, Luis Fernando & Waltenberg, Fábio D., 2012. "Inequality of opportunity for educational achievement in Latin America: Evidence from PISA 2006–2009," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 694-708.

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