How Equal are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the US
Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1162
This paper estimates the effects of family-background characteristics on student performance in the US and 17 Western European school systems. Family background has strong effects both in Europe and the United States, remarkably similar in size. France and Flemish Belgium achieve the most equitable performance for students from different family backgrounds, and Britain and Germany the least. Equality of opportunities is unrelated to countries' mean performance. Quantile regressions show little variation in family-background effects across the ability distribution in most countries.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: equality of opportunity, student performance, family background, TIMSS, equity-efficiency tradeoff, intergenerational mobility
JEL Classification: I21, J62, H52
Date posted: April 13, 2004