Inequality in pupils’ educational attainment: How much do family and neighbourhood matter?

Cheti Nicoletti, Birgitta Rabe
University of Essex, Institute for Social and Economic Research, UK

We estimate sibling and neighbour correlations in educational attainment at the end of compulsory schooling in the UK to bound the relative importance of family and neighbourhood on this outcome. By using multilevel models we are able to produce tighter bounds than previous studies, to estimate a “relative family effect” and to allow for heterogeneity. We estimate a sibling correlation of between 0.4 and 0.5 and a neighbour correlation of approximately 0.1. While neighbour and sibling correlations do not differ by gender, we find a higher correlation for twins than for non-twin siblings and higher neighbour correlation for urban than rural areas.

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