Department of Economics and Business Economics

Inequalities in Educational Outcomes: How Important Is the Family?

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  • Julia Bredtmann, RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research
  • ,
  • Nina Smith
Using rich administrative and longitudinal survey data for Denmark, we investigate sibling correlations in educational outcomes, which serve as a broad measure of the importance of family and community background. We find sibling correlations of up to 0.38, suggesting that more than a third of the variation in educational achievement can be explained by family background. Our results further reveal that parents’ socio‐economic background can account for a large part of the sibling correlation. Other family characteristics such as family structure, social problems and parents’ educational preferences only contribute to explaining sibling similarities at lower levels of the educational distribution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
Pages (from-to)1117-1144
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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