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The Impact of a Primary School Reform on Educational Stratification: A Norwegian Study of Neighbour and School Mate Correlations

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  • Raaum, Oddbjørn

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Salvanes, Kjell G.

    () (Norwegian School of Economics)

  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.

    () (Norwegian School of Economics)

Abstract

School quality is hard to define and measure. It is influenced by not only school expenditures, but also characteristics that are hard to measure like norms and peer effects among teachers and pupils. Furthermore, family background and community characteristics are important in explaining educational outcomes. In this paper we study the composite effect of primary schools and neighbourhoods on adult educational attainment controlling for family characteristics. Instead of identifying the effect of specific neighbourhood and school characteristics on educational attainment, we focus on correlations in final years of schooling among neighbouring children and school mates. We find a clear trend of declining influence of childhood location over the 24 year period (birth cohorts 1947-1970). Then we ask whether a change in the compulsory school law extending the mandatory years of education, can explain this pattern. We find some effect of the primary school reform on the change in the neighbourhood effect. Motivated by the fact that neighbouring children typically go to the same school, we estimate school mate correlations for children born in the 1960s. The overall impact of factors shared by children who graduated from the same school at the age of 15/16 is negligible. The variation in “school quality” and the impact of peers on final educational attainment seem to have been very limited in Norway.

Suggested Citation

  • Raaum, Oddbjørn & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Sørensen, Erik Ø., 2003. "The Impact of a Primary School Reform on Educational Stratification: A Norwegian Study of Neighbour and School Mate Correlations," IZA Discussion Papers 953, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp953
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aakvik, Arild & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Vaage, Kjell, 2003. "Measuring Heterogeneity in the Returns to Education in Norway Using Educational Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 815, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuxin Li & Karen Mumford, "undated". "Aspirations, Expectations and Education Outcomes for Children in Britain: Considering Relative Measures of Family Efficiency," Discussion Papers 09/26, Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Jantti, Markus & Bratsberg, Bernt & Roed, Knut & Raaum, Oddbjorn & Naylor, Robin & Osterbacka, Eva & Bjorklund, Anders & Eriksson, Tor, 2005. "American exceptionalism in a new light: a comparison of intergenerational earnings mobility in the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom and the United States," Economic Research Papers 269752, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    3. Aakvik, Arild & Salvanes, Kjell G & Vaage, Kjell, 2003. "Measuring Heterogeneity in the Returns to Education in Norway Using Educational Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
    5. Bernt Bratsberg & Knut Røed & Oddbjørn Raaum & Robin Naylor & Markus Ja¨ntti & Tor Eriksson & Eva O¨sterbacka, 2007. "Nonlinearities in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility: Consequences for Cross-Country Comparisons," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages 72-92, March.
    6. Arild Aakvik & Kjell G. Salvanes & Kjell Vaage, 2005. "Educational Attainment and Family Background," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 377-394, August.
    7. Lena Lindahl, 2011. "A comparison of family and neighborhood effects on grades, test scores, educational attainment and income—evidence from Sweden," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 207-226, June.
    8. Black, Sandra & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G, 2003. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," CEPR Discussion Papers 4150, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Anna Christina D'Addio, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Mobility or Immobility Across Generations?," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 52, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    educational reforms; schools; neighbours; families; peer-effects;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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