The Role of Family Background on Secondary School Choices
AbstractThe aim of our work is to measure the impact of social origins on the choice of the academic track in order to allow for consistent cross-country comparisons. We analyze Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany, employing the data from PISA 2003. A substantive problem is that a good measure of individual ability before tracking occurs is not available, thus ability cannot be adequately kept under control. A simple model for school choice is proposed, but the model is not identified with cross-section data. The consequences of unobserved ability are assessed; in the absence of a measure of ability at time the track, the logit regression coefficient of social background is an estimate of the total effect of social background, given by the sum of direct and indirect effects. This is a measure of substantive interest because it represents the total causal effect of social origins on school track. Yet, given that regression coefficients in logit models with independent unobserved heterogeneity are biased towards zero, comparison across countries are difficult; the average sample derivative of the response probability is employed, and it is shown to be a valid alternative measure of the effect of explanatory variables in this context. Our main substantive finding is that the total effect of social background on the choice of the academic track is weaker in the Netherlands and stronger in Germany, with Italy somewhere in between, although, as the German case reveals, when access is regulated by formal restrictions based on ability tests the role of parental background is significantly reduced.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies in its series LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series with number 72.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
equality of opportunity; intergenerational mobility; school systems; PISA; PIRLS.;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2010.
"Risk and Global Economic Architecture: Why Full Financial Integration May Be Undesirable,"
NBER Working Papers
15718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2010. "Risk and Global Economic Architecture: Why Full Financial Integration May Be Undesirable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 388-92, May.
- Nuno Silva & Nuno Ribeiro & António R. Antunes, 2011. "Towards a CCA-based Systemic Risk Indicator," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Giovanni Bert).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.