IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/vic/vicddp/1904.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Inequalities in Test Scores between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Youth in Canada

Author

Abstract

This paper documents a robust achievement gap between the math scores of Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in Canada between 1996 and 2008. Using data from the restricted-access National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth we show that after controlling for a rich set of observables, students who self-identify as Indigenous perform 0.31 standard deviations lower on a standardized math test compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. We find that this test gap emerges by the age of 12,and it did not decline between 1996 and 2008, despite the recommendations of the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples to ameliorate the public education system for Indigenous students. Counterfactual estimates from the decomposition method of Lemieux (2002) suggest that the test gap among the lowest performing students would have been eliminated if Indigenous students faced the same level of and returns to observable characteristics as non-Indigenous students. This exercise does not result in a narrowing of the test gap in the upper tail, suggesting that unobservables, rather than observables, are driving the majority of the test gap among high achieving students.

Suggested Citation

  • Maggie Jones & Michael Barber, 2019. "Inequalities in Test Scores between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Youth in Canada," Department Discussion Papers 1904, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  • Handle: RePEc:vic:vicddp:1904
    Note: ISSN 1914-2838 JEL Classifications: I21, I24, J15
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.uvic.ca/socialsciences/economics/assets/docs/discussion/ddp1904.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter George & Peter Kuhn, 1994. "The Size and Structure of Native-White Wage Differentials in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 20-42, February.
    2. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Richard J. Murnane, 2013. "U.S. High School Graduation Rates: Patterns and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 370-422, June.
    4. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2009. "The Academic Achievement Gap in Grades 3 to 8," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 398-419, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 1, pages 1-102, Elsevier.
    7. Thomas Lemieux, 2002. "Decomposing changes in wage distributions: a unified approach," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 35(4), pages 646-688, November.
    8. Jane Friesen & Brian Krauth, 2010. "Sorting, peers, and achievement of Aboriginal students in British Columbia," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1273-1301, November.
    9. John Richards, 2008. "Closing the Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal Education Gaps," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 116, October.
    10. James Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev, 2013. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2052-2086, October.
    11. Kitae Sohn, 2012. "The dynamics of the evolution of the Black--White test score gap," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 175-188, April.
    12. David Roodman & James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2019. "Fast and wild: Bootstrap inference in Stata using boottest," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 19(1), pages 4-60, March.
    13. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    14. Timothy N. Bond & Kevin Lang, 2018. "The Black–White Education Scaled Test-Score Gap in Grades K-7," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(4), pages 891-917.
    15. Andrew Leigh & Xiaodong Gong, 2009. "Estimating cognitive gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 239-261.
    16. Maggie Jones, 2017. "Student Aid And The Distribution Of Educational Attainment," Working Paper 1373, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    17. Ding, Weili & Lehrer, Steven F., 2014. "Understanding the role of time-varying unobserved ability heterogeneity in education production," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 55-75.
    18. Evelyn L. Forget, 2011. "The Town with No Poverty: The Health Effects of a Canadian Guaranteed Annual Income Field Experiment," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 37(3), pages 283-305, September.
    19. Donna Feir, 2013. "Size, Structure, and Change: Exploring the Sources of Aboriginal Earnings Gaps in 1995 and 2005," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(2), pages 309-334, June.
    20. Jeffrey Penney, 2017. "Test Score Measurement and the Black-White Test Score Gap," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 652-656, July.
    21. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    22. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2006. "The Black-White Test Score Gap Through Third Grade," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 249-281.
    23. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    24. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 447-464, May.
    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. Hull, Marie & Norris, Jonathan, 2020. "The skill development of children of immigrants," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    2. Sloczynski, Tymon, 2018. "Average Gaps and Oaxaca–Blinder Decompositions: A Cautionary Tale about Regression Estimates of Racial Differences in Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 12041, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Martin Huber & Anna Solovyeva, 2020. "On the Sensitivity of Wage Gap Decompositions," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 1-33, June.
    4. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 1, pages 1-102, Elsevier.
    5. Hynsjö, Disa & Damon, Amy, 2016. "Bilingual education in Peru: Evidence on how Quechua-medium education affects indigenous children's academic achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 116-132.
    6. McDonough, Ian K., 2015. "Dynamics of the black–white gap in academic achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 17-33.
    7. Gurleen Popli & Okan Yılmaz, 2017. "Educational Attainment and Wage Inequality in Turkey," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 31(1), pages 73-104, March.
    8. Claudia Tello & Raul Ramos & Manuel Artís, 2012. "Changes in wage structure in Mexico going beyond the mean: An analysis of differences in distribution, 1987-2008," Working Papers XREAP2012-07, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised May 2012.
    9. Thierry Lallemand & François Rycx, 2007. "Employer Size and the Structure of Wages: A Critical Survey," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 75-87.
    10. Christopher Bollinger & James P. Ziliak & Kenneth R. Troske, 2011. "Down from the Mountain: Skill Upgrading and Wages in Appalachia," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 819-857.
    11. Debra Shepherd, 2013. "A question of efficiency: decomposing South African reading test scores using PIRLS 2006," Working Papers 20/2013, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    12. Jeffrey Penney, 2017. "Racial Interaction Effects and Student Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(4), pages 447-467, Fall.
    13. Tymon Słoczyński, 2020. "Average Gaps and Oaxaca–Blinder Decompositions: A Cautionary Tale about Regression Estimates of Racial Differences in Labor Market Outcomes," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 73(3), pages 705-729, May.
    14. Słoczyński, Tymon, 2012. "New Evidence on Linear Regression and Treatment Effect Heterogeneity," MPRA Paper 39524, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Essama-Nssah, B., 2012. "Identification of sources of variation in poverty outcomes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5954, The World Bank.
    16. Monsueto, Sandro Eduardo & Simão, Rosycler Cristal Santos, 2008. "The impact of gender discrimination on poverty in Brazil," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
    17. Verdugo, G. & Fraisse, H. & Horny, G., 2012. "Changes In Wage Inequality In France: The Impact Of Composition Effects (in French)," Working papers 370, Banque de France.
    18. Tymon Słoczyński, 2015. "The Oaxaca–Blinder Unexplained Component as a Treatment Effects Estimator," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(4), pages 588-604, August.
    19. Michel Lubrano & Abdoul Aziz Junior Ndoye, 2014. "Bayesian Unconditional Quantile Regression: An Analysis of Recent Expansions in Wage Structure and Earnings Inequality in the US 1992–2009," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 61(2), pages 129-153, May.
    20. Aleksandra Anić & Gorana Krstić, 2019. "What Lies Behind The Gender Wage Gap In Serbia?," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 64(223), pages 137-170, October –.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    test gap; Indigenous peoples; decomposition methods;
    All these keywords.

    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:vic:vicddp:1904. 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/devicca.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: Graham Voss (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/devicca.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.