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The Impact of a Primary School Reform on Educational Stratification: A Norwegian Study of Neighbour and School Mate Correlations

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Author Info

  • Raaum, Oddbjørn

    ()
    (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Salvanes, Kjell G.

    ()
    (Norwegian School of Economics)

  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.

    ()
    (Norwegian School of Economics)

Abstract

School quality is hard to define and measure. It is influenced by not only school expenditures, but also characteristics that are hard to measure like norms and peer effects among teachers and pupils. Furthermore, family background and community characteristics are important in explaining educational outcomes. In this paper we study the composite effect of primary schools and neighbourhoods on adult educational attainment controlling for family characteristics. Instead of identifying the effect of specific neighbourhood and school characteristics on educational attainment, we focus on correlations in final years of schooling among neighbouring children and school mates. We find a clear trend of declining influence of childhood location over the 24 year period (birth cohorts 1947-1970). Then we ask whether a change in the compulsory school law extending the mandatory years of education, can explain this pattern. We find some effect of the primary school reform on the change in the neighbourhood effect. Motivated by the fact that neighbouring children typically go to the same school, we estimate school mate correlations for children born in the 1960s. The overall impact of factors shared by children who graduated from the same school at the age of 15/16 is negligible. The variation in “school quality” and the impact of peers on final educational attainment seem to have been very limited in Norway.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 953.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Swedish Economic Policy Review, 2003, 10 (2), 143-170
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp953

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Keywords: educational reforms; schools; neighbours; families; peer-effects;

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References

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  1. Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2007. "The Impact of Length of the School Year on Student Performance and Earnings: Evidence From the German Short School Years," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1216-1242, October.
  2. Donna Ginther & Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 2000. "Neighborhood Attributes as Determinants of Children's Outcomes: How Robust Are the Relationships?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 603-642.
  3. Aakvik, Arild & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Vaage, Kjell, 2003. "Measuring Heterogeneity in the Returns to Education in Norway Using Educational Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 815, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  5. Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The effect of school quality on educational attainment and wages," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W00/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," NBER Working Papers 8875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Betts, Julian R, 1996. "Do School Resources Matter Only for Older Workers?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 638-52, November.
  8. Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "The compelling effects of compulsory schooling: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 22-52, February.
  9. Dustmann, Christian & Rajah, Najma & van Soest, Arthur, 2002. "Class Size, Education and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3397, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Costas Meghir & MÃ¥rten Palme, 2003. "Ability, parental background and educational policy: empirical evidence from a social experiment," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W03/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Gary Solon & Marianne E. Page & Greg J. Duncan, 2000. "Correlations Between Neighboring Children In Their Subsequent Educational Attainment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 383-392, August.
  12. Raaum, Oddbjørn & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Sørensen, Erik Ø., 2003. "The Neighbourhood Is Not What It Used to Be," IZA Discussion Papers 952, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Bratberg, Espen & Nilsen, Øivind Anti & Vaage, Kjell, 2002. "Assessing Changes in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Working Papers in Economics, University of Bergen, Department of Economics 26/02, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  15. Eric A. Hanushek, 2003. "The Failure of Input-Based Schooling Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F64-F98, February.
  16. Marianne E. Page & Gary Solon, 2003. "Correlations between Brothers and Neighboring Boys in Their Adult Earnings: The Importance of Being Urban," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 831-856, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Aakvik, Arild & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Vaage, Kjell, 2003. "Measuring Heterogeneity in the Returns to Education in Norway Using Educational Reforms," Working Papers in Economics, University of Bergen, Department of Economics 08/03, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  2. Yuxin Li & Karen Mumford, . "Aspirations, Expectations and Education Outcomes for Children in Britain: Considering Relative Measures of Family Efficiency," Discussion Papers, Department of Economics, University of York 09/26, Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2003. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Jäntti, Markus & Bratsberg, Bernt & Røed, Knut & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Naylor, Robin & Österbacka, Eva & Bjørklund, Anders & Eriksson, Tor, 2005. "American exceptionalism in a new light: a comparison of intergenerational earnings mobility in the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom and the United States," Memorandum, Oslo University, Department of Economics 34/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Aakvik, Arild & Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar & Vaage, Kjell, 2005. "Educational Attainment and Family Background," Working Papers in Economics, University of Bergen, Department of Economics 10/05, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  6. Black, Sandra & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G, 2003. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 4150, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Lena Lindahl, 2011. "A comparison of family and neighborhood effects on grades, test scores, educational attainment and income—evidence from Sweden," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 207-226, June.
  8. Bernt Bratsberg & Knut Røed & Oddbjørn Raaum & Robin Naylor & Markus Ja�ntti & Tor Eriksson & Eva O�sterbacka, 2007. "Nonlinearities in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility: Consequences for Cross-Country Comparisons," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C72-C92, 03.

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