IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_8111.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Long-Run Trends in the U.S. SES-Achievement Gap

Author

Listed:
  • Eric A. Hanushek
  • Paul E. Peterson
  • Laura M. Talpey
  • Ludger Woessmann

Abstract

Rising inequality in the United States has raised concerns about potentially widening gaps in educational achievement by socio-economic status (SES). Using assessments from LTT-NAEP, Main-NAEP, TIMSS, and PISA that are psychometrically linked over time, we trace trends in achievement for U.S. student cohorts born between 1954 and 2001. Achievement gaps between the top and bottom quartiles of the SES distribution have been large and remarkably constant for a near half century. These unwavering gaps have not been offset by improved achievement levels, which have risen at age 14 but have remained unchanged at age 17 for the past quarter century.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric A. Hanushek & Paul E. Peterson & Laura M. Talpey & Ludger Woessmann, 2020. "Long-Run Trends in the U.S. SES-Achievement Gap," CESifo Working Paper Series 8111, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8111
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp8111.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4, June.
    2. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2012. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1927-1956, August.
    3. Eric A. Hanushek & Paul E. Peterson & Laura M. Talpey & Ludger Woessmann, 2019. "The Unwavering SES Achievement Gap: Trends in U.S. Student Performance," NBER Working Papers 25648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hanushek, Eric A. & Schwerdt, Guido & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2015. "Returns to skills around the world: Evidence from PIAAC," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 103-130.
    5. Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2016. "Editor's Choice Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(2), pages 519-578.
    6. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2010. "Generalizations about Using Value-Added Measures of Teacher Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 267-271, May.
    7. Timothy N. Bond & Kevin Lang, 2013. "The Evolution of the Black-White Test Score Gap in Grades K–3: The Fragility of Results," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1468-1479, December.
    8. Julien Lafortune & Jesse Rothstein & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2018. "School Finance Reform and the Distribution of Student Achievement," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 1-26, April.
    9. Eric D. Gould & Avi Simhon & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2020. "Does Parental Quality Matter? Evidence on the Transmission of Human Capital Using Variation in Parental Influence from Death, Divorce, and Family Size," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 569-610.
    10. Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2005. "Does school accountability lead to improved student performance?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 297-327.
    11. Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3, June.
    12. C. Kirabo Jackson & Rucker C. Johnson & Claudia Persico, 2016. "The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(1), pages 157-218.
    13. Hanushek, Eric A. & Schwerdt, Guido & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2017. "Coping with change: International differences in the returns to skills," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 15-19.
    14. Greg J. Duncan & Ariel Kalil & Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, 2017. "Increasing Inequality in Parent Incomes and Children’s Schooling," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(5), pages 1603-1626, October.
    15. Wilson, William Julius, 2011. "The Declining Significance of Race: Revisited & Revised," Scholarly Articles 8052151, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    16. Rees, Daniel I. & Sabia, Joseph J., 2010. "Sports participation and academic performance: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 751-759, October.
    17. Eric R. Nielsen, 2015. "The Income-Achievement Gap and Adult Outcome Inequality," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-41, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    18. Slesnick, Daniel T, 1993. "Gaining Ground: Poverty in the Postwar United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-38, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Eric A. Hanushek & Paul E. Peterson & Laura M. Talpey & Ludger Woessmann, 2019. "The Unwavering SES Achievement Gap: Trends in U.S. Student Performance," NBER Working Papers 25648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2020. "Les inégalités provinciales aux tests internationaux-nationaux de littéracie : Québec, Ontario et autres provinces canadiennes 1993-2018 (Version révisée et augmentée octobre 2020)," CIRANO Working Papers 2020s-29, CIRANO.
    3. Eric Hanushek, 2017. "For long-term economic development, only skills matter," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 343-343, March.
    4. Hanushek, Eric A. & Schwerdt, Guido & Wiederhold, Simon & Woessmann, Ludger, 2017. "Coping with change: International differences in the returns to skills," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 15-19.
    5. Eric Hanushek, 2019. "Addressing Cross-National Generalizability in Educational Impact Evaluation," Working Papers 2019-007, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    6. Eric A. Hanushek, 2017. "Education and the Growth-Equity Trade-Off," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future US GDP Growth, pages 293-312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2020. "Les inégalités provinciales aux tests internationaux-nationaux de littéracie : Québec, Ontario et autres provinces canadiennes 1993-2018 [Provincial achievement gaps from literacy surveys conducted," Working Papers 20-02, Research Group on Human Capital, University of Quebec in Montreal's School of Management, revised Oct 2020.
    8. Richard J. Murnane & Sean F. Reardon, 2017. "Long-Term Trends in Private School Enrollments by Family Income," NBER Working Papers 23571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Schwerdt, Guido & Woessmann, Ludger, 2017. "The information value of central school exams," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 65-79.
    10. Eric A. Hanushek & Marc Piopiunik & Simon Wiederhold, 2019. "The Value of Smarter Teachers: International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(4), pages 857-899.
    11. Ludger Woessmann, 2016. "The Importance of School Systems: Evidence from International Differences in Student Achievement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 3-32, Summer.
    12. Eric A. Hanushek & Marc Piopiunik & Simon Wiederhold, 2014. "International Evidence on Teacher Cognitive Skills and Student Performance," CID Working Papers 63, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    13. Simon Briole, 2019. "From Teacher Quality to Teaching Quality: Instructional Productivity and Teaching Practices in the US," Working Papers halshs-01993616, HAL.
    14. Jens Ruhose, 2015. "Microeconometric Analyses on Economic Consequences of Selective Migration," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 61, August.
    15. Shirin A. Hashim & Thomas J. Kane & Thomas Kelley-Kemple & Mary E. Laski & Douglas O. Staiger, 2020. "Have Income-Based Achievement Gaps Widened or Narrowed?," NBER Working Papers 27714, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Eric A. Hanushek & Jens Ruhose & Ludger Woessmann, 2015. "Economic Gains for U.S. States from Educational Reform," NBER Working Papers 21770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Brian Jacob & Jesse Rothstein, 2016. "The Measurement of Student Ability in Modern Assessment Systems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 85-108, Summer.
    18. Andrea Cegolon, 2015. "Determinants and Learning Effects of Adult Education-Training: a Cross-National Comparison Using PIAAC Data," DoQSS Working Papers 15-11, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    19. Erich Battistin & Lorenzo Neri, 2017. "School Performance, Score Inflation and Economic Geography," Working Papers 837, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    20. Simona Ferraro & Tommaso Agasisti & Francesco Porcelli & Mara Soncin, 2021. "Local governments’ efficiency and educational results: empirical evidence from Italian primary schools," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(35), pages 4017-4039, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    student achievement; inequality; socio-economic status; United States; NAEP; TIMSS; PISA;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8111. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.