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Inequalities in Educational Outcomes: How Important is the Family?

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  • Bredtmann, Julia
  • Smith, Nina

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate sibling correlations in educational outcomes, which serve as a broad measure of the importance of family and community background. Making use of rich longitudinal survey and register data for Denmark, our main aim is to identify the parental background characteristics that are able to explain the resemblance in educational outcomes among siblings. We find sibling correlations in educational outcomes in the range of 15 to 33 percent, suggesting that up to a third of the variation in educational achievement can be explained by family and community background. Our results further reveal that parents socio-economic background (i.e., their education, occupation, and income) can explain up to 44 percent of the sibling correlation. However, non-economic factors such as family structure, the incidence of social problems, and parents educational preferences also play an important role for sibling similarities in educational outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bredtmann, Julia & Smith, Nina, 2015. "Inequalities in Educational Outcomes: How Important is the Family?," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112861, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc15:112861
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    Cited by:

    1. Carsten Andersen, 2019. "Intergenerational Health Mobility: Evidence from Danish Registers," Economics Working Papers 2019-04, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    2. Sepahvand, Mohammad H. & Shahbazian, Roujman, 2018. "Sibling Correlation in Risk Attitudes: Evidence from Burkina Faso," Working Paper Series 2018:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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