Selective Schooling Has Not Promoted Social Mobility in England

42 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2021 Last revised: 16 Apr 2023

See all articles by Franz Buscha

Franz Buscha

University of Westminster

Emma Gorman

Lancaster University

patrick sturgis

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

Abstract

In this paper we use linked census data to assess whether an academically selective schooling system promotes social mobility, using England as a case study. Over a period of two decades, the share of pupils in academically selective schools in England declined sharply and differentially by area. Using a sample of census records matched to administrative data on selective system schooling within local areas, we exploit temporal and geographic variation to estimate the effects of the selective schooling system on absolute and relative social class mobility. Our results provide no support for the contention that the selective schooling system increased social mobility in England, whether considered in absolute or relative terms. The findings are precisely estimated and robust to a comprehensive battery of robustness checks.

Keywords: grammar schools, selective schooling, social mobility

JEL Classification: I21, I24, I28, J18, J24

Suggested Citation

Buscha, Franz and Gorman, Emma and sturgis, patrick, Selective Schooling Has Not Promoted Social Mobility in England. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14640, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3908855 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3908855

Franz Buscha (Contact Author)

University of Westminster ( email )

309 Regent Street
London, W1R 8AL
United Kingdom

Emma Gorman

Lancaster University

Patrick Sturgis

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

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