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Inequalities in Educational Outcomes: How Important Is the Family?

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  • Julia Bredtmann
  • Nina Smith

Abstract

Using rich administrative and longitudinal survey data for Denmark, we investigate sibling correlations in educational outcomes, which serve as a broad measure of the importance of family and community background. We find sibling correlations of up to 0.38, suggesting that more than a third of the variation in educational achievement can be explained by family background. Our results further reveal that parents’ socio‐economic background can account for a large part of the sibling correlation. Other family characteristics such as family structure, social problems and parents’ educational preferences only contribute to explaining sibling similarities at lower levels of the educational distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Bredtmann & Nina Smith, 2018. "Inequalities in Educational Outcomes: How Important Is the Family?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 80(6), pages 1117-1144, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:80:y:2018:i:6:p:1117-1144
    DOI: 10.1111/obes.12258
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    Cited by:

    1. Carsten Andersen, 2019. "Intergenerational Health Mobility: Evidence from Danish Registers," Economics Working Papers 2019-04, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    2. Sepahvand, Mohammad H. & Shahbazian, Roujman, 2018. "Sibling Correlation in Risk Attitudes: Evidence from Burkina Faso," Working Paper Series 2018:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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