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The Mobility of English School Children


  • Stephen Machin
  • Shqiponja Telhaj
  • Joan Wilson


In this paper we examine links between pupil mobility and pupil and school characteristics at all levels of compulsory schooling in England. We derive measures of mobility from two academic years of the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) data, a unique national administrative pupil level longitudinal data source. Our findings suggest that mobile pupils are more socially disadvantaged than non-mobile pupils and are significantly less likely to have a good prior education record. Moreover, we find that pupils are less likely to move if the school they attend has good average performance levels. Finally, when children move school, they are more likely to end up in a school with better Key Stage performance than the one they left, but this improvement is significantly more marked for children from better off backgrounds.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Machin & Shqiponja Telhaj & Joan Wilson, 2006. "The Mobility of English School Children," CEE Discussion Papers 0067, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0067

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gibbons, Steve & Machin, Stephen, 2003. "Valuing English primary schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 197-219, March.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2004. "Disruption versus Tiebout improvement: the costs and benefits of switching schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1721-1746, August.
    3. Nan Astone & Sara McLanahan, 1994. "Family structure, residential mobility, and school dropout: A research note," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(4), pages 575-584, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. George Leckie, 2008. "Modelling the Effects of Pupil Mobility and Neighbourhood on School Differences in Educational Achievement," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/189, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. Canals, Catalina & Meneses, Francisco & Serra, Camila, 2015. "Aspectos geográficos de los cambios de estudiantes entre establecimientos escolares
      [Geographic factor of School Choice]
      ," MPRA Paper 66568, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2014.

    More about this item


    School children; mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education


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