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On class differentials in educational attainment.

Authors
  • Erikson, Robert
  • Goldthorpe, John H
  • Jackson, Michelle
  • Yaish, Meir
  • Cox, D R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publisher
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
Jul 05, 2005
Volume
102
Issue
27
Pages
9730–9733
Identifiers
PMID: 15976024
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Social class differentials in educational attainment have been extensively studied in numerous countries. In this paper, we begin by examining class differentials in the progression to higher secondary education among 16-year-old children in England and Wales. As has been shown for other countries, the differentials result both from the primary effects of differing levels of academic performance of children of different class background and from the secondary effects of differences in the educational choices that these children make at given levels of performance. Through counterfactual analyses in which the performance distribution of one class is combined with the choice distribution of another, primary and secondary effects are decomposed and the former are shown to be roughly three times the size of the latter.

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