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How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States

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  • Woessmann, Ludger

    ()
    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of family-background characteristics on student performance in the US and 17 Western European school systems. Family background has strong effects both in Europe and the United States, remarkably similar in size. France and Flemish Belgium achieve the most equitable performance for students from different family backgrounds, and Britain and Germany the least. Equality of opportunities is unrelated to countries’ mean performance. Quantile regressions show little variation in family-background effects across the ability distribution in most countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1284.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft, 2008, 78 (1), 45-70
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1284

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Related research

Keywords: intergenerational mobility; equity-efficiency tradeoff; TIMSS; family background; student performance; equality of opportunity;

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