1887

OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Equity in Student Achievement Across OECD Countries

An Investigation of the Role of Policies

This paper focuses on inequalities in learning opportunities for individuals coming from different socioeconomic backgrounds as a measure of (in) equality of opportunity in OECD countries and looks at the role played by policies and institutions in shaping countries’ relative positions. Based on harmonised 15- year old students’ achievement data collected at the individual level, the empirical analysis shows that while Nordic European countries exhibit relatively low levels of inequality, continental Europe is characterised by high levels of inequality - in particular of schooling segregation along socio-economic lines - while Anglo-Saxon countries occupy a somewhat intermediate position. Policies allowing increasing social mix are found to reduce school socio-economic segregation without affecting overall performance. Countries that emphasise childcare and pre-school institutions exhibit lower levels of inequality of opportunity, suggesting the effectiveness of early intervention policies in reducing persistence of education outcomes across generations. There is also a positive association between inequality of opportunities and income inequality. As a consequence, cross-country regressions suggest that redistributive policies can help to reduce inequalities of educational opportunities associated with socioeconomic background and, hence, persistence of education outcomes across generations.

English

Keywords: public policy, equity in student achievement, education, school socio-economic segregation, equality of education opportunity
JEL: I21: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Analysis of Education; I20: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education and Research Institutions: General; I38: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs; I28: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education: Government Policy; H23: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Taxation and Subsidies: Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error