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The Declining Relative Importance Of Ability In Predicting Educational Attainment

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  • Fernando Galindo-Rueda
  • Anna Vignoles

Abstract

Most countries seek to reduce inequality by encouraging educational attainment, particularly by striving for better outcomes for able individuals from poor backgrounds. We analyse whether this has been a feature of Britain’s substantial expansion of education during the past several decades. We use two unique longitudinal studies to test whether these improvements have been associated with changes in the role of cognitive ability and parental background in determining educational achievement. We find a decline in the importance of ability in explaining educational performance, in part because low ability children with high economic status experienced the largest increases in educational attainment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 with number 40.

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Date of creation: 17 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2004:40

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Cited by:
  1. Javier Valbuena, 2011. "Family Background, Gender and Cohort Effects on Schooling Decisions," Studies in Economics 1114, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  2. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2005. "The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability," CEE Discussion Papers 0052, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  3. Guido Heineck & Regina T. Riphahn, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment in Germany: The Last Five Decades," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 738, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Regina Riphahn & Florian Schieferdecker, 2008. "The Transition to Tertiary Education and Parental Background over Time," Working Papers 063, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
  5. Pedro Rosa Dias, 2010. "Modelling opportunity in health under partial observability of circumstances," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(3), pages 252-264.
  6. Gonzalo Olcina Vauteren & Luisa Escriche, 2006. "Education And Family Income: Can Poor Children Signal Their Talent?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2006-20, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  7. Francesco Vona, 2011. "Does the Expansion of Higher Education Reduce Educational Inequality? Evidence from 12 European Countries," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-12, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  8. Lindsey Macmillan, 2013. "The role of non-cognitive and cognitive skills, behavioural and educational outcomes in accounting for the intergenerational transmission of worklessness," DoQSS Working Papers 13-01, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  9. Alessandro Tampieri, 2009. "Social Background Effects on School and Job Opportunities," Discussion Papers in Economics 09/26, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Sep 2010.
  10. Jones, A; & Rice, N; & Rosa Dias, P;, 2010. "Quality of Schooling and Inequality of Opportunity in Health," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/22, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  11. Rita Asplund & Oussama Ben Adbelkarim & Ali Skalli, 2008. "An equity perspective on access to, enrolment in and finance of tertiary education," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 261-274.
  12. Tania Oliveira, 2006. "Tuition fees and admission standards: how do public and private universities really compete for students?," Discussion Papers in Economics 06/6, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  13. Javier Valbuena, 2011. "Family background, gender and cohort effects on schooling decisions," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 6, in: Antonio Caparrós Ruiz (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 6, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 15, pages 258-290 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
  14. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Oscar Marcenaro & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "The Widening Socio-Economic Gap in UK Higher Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0044, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.

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