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Inequality of educational opportunity in a cross-section of countries. Empirical analysis of 2009 PISA data

Timur Natkhov and Natalia Kozina ()
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Natalia Kozina: National Research University Higher School of Economics. Center for Institutional Studies, Researcher.

No WP BRP 07/EDU/2012, HSE Working papers from National Research University Higher School of Economics

Abstract: We provide a measure of inequality of educational opportunity for 72 countries, estimated as a share of the variation in the 2009 PISA test scores that is explained by pre-determined family characteristics. Inequality of opportunity accounts for up to 40 percent of the variation in educational achievement and different measures (for example in math, science, and reading) are highly correlated. Cross-country variation in the inequality of educational opportunity is unrelated to financial indicators, such as expenditure per student or public spending on education as a share of GDP, but depends on pre-school enrollment, overall economic inequality, and the availability of basic medical services. We also document the negative relationship between the inequality of educational opportunity and educational achievement: average educational achievement is lower in countries where family background plays a major role in determining individual progress.

Keywords: equality of opportunity; student performance; family background; equity-efficiency trade-off (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J62 H52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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Published in WP BRP Series: Education / EDU, November 2012, pages 1-21

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