Ethnicity and Educational Achievement in Compulsory Schooling

26 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2010

See all articles by Christian Dustmann

Christian Dustmann

University College London; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics

Uta Schönberg

University of Rochester; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

This article documents that at the start of school, pupils from most ethnic groups substantially lag behind White British pupils. However, these gaps decline for all groups throughout compulsory schooling. Language is the single most important factor why ethnic minority pupils improve relative to White British pupils. Poverty, in contrast, does not contribute to the catch-up. Our results also suggest the possibility that the greater than average progress of ethnic minority pupils in schools with more poor pupils may partly be related to teacher incentives to concentrate attention on particular pupils, generated by the publication of school league tables.

Suggested Citation

Dustmann, Christian and Machin, Stephen J. and Schönberg, Uta, Ethnicity and Educational Achievement in Compulsory Schooling. The Economic Journal, Vol. 120, Issue 546, pp. F272-F297, August 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1645554 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2010.02377.x

Christian Dustmann (Contact Author)

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+44 20 7679 5832 (Phone)
+44 20 7916 2775 (Fax)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Uta Schönberg

University of Rochester ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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