- Family background and school performance during a turbulent era of school reforms
- Number of pages
- Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam
- Scholar Working Papers Series
- Volume | Edition (Serie)
- WP 41/03
- Document type
- Working paper
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
In the 1990s, Swedish education policy took several steps towards more decentralization and more room for parental school choice. The decade was also a turbulent one in other respects, with high unemployment and major cuts in school budgets. We study the relationship between pupils’ school performance and their family background during this period of time. We use large register-based data sets and employ the grade average at age 16 as our measure of school performance. We also use register-based information to construct two alternative measures of family background. The first measure – the grade correlation between siblings born within three years of time – is a broad one and captures family as well as community factors shared by siblings. The second one – the association between grades and parental earnings – is a more narrow one. Surprisingly, we find that both relationships were remarkably stable over this turbulent period of time.
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