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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
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    student achievement; inequality; socio-economic status; United States; NAEP; TIMSS; PISA;

    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

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