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Social Segregation in Secondary Schools: How Does England Compare with Other Countries?

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  • Stephen P. Jenkins
  • John Micklewright
  • Sylke V. Schnepf

Abstract

We provide new evidence about the degree of social segregation in England's secondary schools, employing a cross-national perspective. Analysis is based on data for 27 rich industrialised countries from the 2000 and 2003 rounds of the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA), using a number of different measures of social background and of segregation, and allowing for sampling variation in the estimates. England is shown to be a middle-ranking country, as is the USA. High segregation countries include Austria, Belgium, Germany and Hungary. Low segregation countries include the four Nordic countries and Scotland. In explaining England's position, we argue that its segregation is mostly accounted for by unevenness in social background in the state school sector. Focusing on this sector, we show that cross-country differences in segregation are associated with the prevalence of selective choice of pupils by schools. Low-segregation countries such as those in the Nordic area and Scotland have negligible selection in schools. High segregation countries like Austria, Germany and Hungary have separate school tracks for academic and vocational schooling and, in each case, over half of this is accounted for by unevenness in social background between the different tracks rather than by differences within each track.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen P. Jenkins & John Micklewright & Sylke V. Schnepf, 2006. "Social Segregation in Secondary Schools: How Does England Compare with Other Countries?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 550, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp550
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Hutchens, 2004. "One Measure of Segregation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 555-578, May.
    2. Simon Burgess & Brendon McConnell & Carol Propper & Deborah Wilson, 2004. "Sorting and Choice in English Secondary Schools," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/111, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    3. Rosalind Levacic & Stephen Machin & David Reynolds & Anna Vignoles & James Walker, 2000. "The Relationship between Resource Allocation and Pupil Attainment: A Review," CEE Discussion Papers 0002, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    4. Hutchens, Robert M., 1991. "Segregation curves, Lorenz curves, and inequality in the distribution of people across occupations," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 31-51, February.
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    6. Hutchens, Robert, 2001. "Numerical measures of segregation: desirable properties and their implications," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, July.
    7. Michael R. Ransom, 2000. "Sampling Distributions of Segregation Indexes," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 28(4), pages 454-475, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Piergiacomo Sibiano & Giuseppe Catalano, 2010. "Investigating school autonomy: a comparison between England and Italy," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5, in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Gregorio Gim (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 8, pages 155-184, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    2. Coral del Río & Olga Alonso-Villar, 2008. "Occupational and industrial segregation of female and male workers in Spain: An alternative approach," Working Papers 84, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Yohanes E. Riyanto & Linda A. Toolsema, 2007. "Corporate Social Responsibility in a Corporate Governance Framework," Departmental Working Papers wp0702, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics.
    4. Olga Alonso Villar & Coral del Río, 2010. "Segregation of female and male workers in Spain: occupations and industries," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 194(3), pages 91-121, June.
    5. Elena Fumagalli & laura Fumagalli, 2009. "Like oil and water or chocolate and peanut butter? Ethnic diversity and social participation of young people in England," Working Papers 2009_21, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    6. Changhui Kang, 2007. "Does Money Matter? The Effect of Private Educational Expenditures on Academic Performance," Departmental Working Papers wp0704, National University of Singapore, Department of Economics.
    7. Jairo G Isaza Castro & Karen Hernandez & Karen Guerrero & Jessy Hemer, 2017. "Computing occupational segregation indices with standard errors: an ado file application with an illustration for Colombia," 2017 Stata Conference 18, Stata Users Group.
    8. Hámori, Szilvia & Köllő, János, 2011. "Whose Children Gain from Starting School Later? Evidence from Hungary," IZA Discussion Papers 5539, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D39 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Other
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I39 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Other

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