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What enhances mathematical ability? A cross-country analysis based on test scores of 15-year-olds

This article examines the mathematical abilities of 15-year-olds in a range of countries which participated in the 2003 cycle of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED)'s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Utilizing information on the scores obtained by individual students in the mathematical part of the PISA assessment, we use a range of indicators from the literature on inequality and poverty to evaluate the 'mathematical performance' of participating countries. Since data from PISA contained a wealth of information on the circumstances of the students in terms of their home and school environment, we identify and examine the relative influence of factors which serve to enhance the mathematical performance of students in the PISA assessment.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2010)
Issue (Month): 29 ()
Pages: 3723-3733

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:29:p:3723-3733
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  1. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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  6. Dolton, P J & Vignoles, A, 2002. "The Return on Post-compulsory School Mathematics Study," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(273), pages 113-41, February.
  7. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
  8. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ingram, Beth F. & Neumann, George R., 2006. "The returns to skill," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 35-59, February.
  10. Giorgina Brown & John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf & Robert Waldmann, 2007. "International surveys of educational achievement: how robust are the findings?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(3), pages 623-646.
  11. Kenny, Lawrence W, et al, 1979. "Returns to College Education: An Investigation of Self-Selection Bias Based on the Project Talent Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(3), pages 775-89, October.
  12. Steve Machin & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "Educational inequality: the widening socio-economic gap," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 107-128, June.
  13. Andrew Jenkins & Anna Vignoles & Alison Wolf & Fernando Galindo-Rueda, 2003. "The determinants and labour market effects of lifelong learning," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(16), pages 1711-1721.
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