Inequality of opportunity in educational performance in Spain and Europe

Report

Inequality of opportunity in educational performance in Spain and Europe

Gabriela Sicilia, ULL; Gustavo A. Marrero, ULL; Juan C. Palomino, University of Oxford;
Project selected in the Call to support research projects on social inequality (LL2020_5)

Inequality of opportunity in educational performance measures the importance that factors beyond the responsibility of the student (gender, background, financial and cultural status of parents, etc.) play in academic performance differences. By using the most recent PISA data, this study estimates that non-student factors explain 32% of the differences in academic performance in the EU-27 and that these effects are channelled through grade repetition, student motivation and their reading habits and skills.
Key points
  • 1
       Spain, together with the Nordic countries, has lower inequality of educational opportunity (some 20%), while Central European countries present higher inequality (between 38% and 45%).
  • 2
       There is no link between inequality and educational performance. Unlike Mediterranean countries, the Nordic and Anglosphere countries have low inequality of educational opportunity but also high academic performance.
  • 3
       Differences in home cultural backgrounds are the most important contributors to inequality of opportunity in educational performance in Europe: some 40% on average for the EU-27. School characteristics are relevant in Central European countries, Italy, Greece and the UK (between 20% and 40%).
  • 4
       Grade repetition, motivation (educational and occupational expectations), reading skills and pleasure in reading account for 11-30% of this inequality.
  • 5
       There is slight diversity in relation to inequality of educational opportunity among Spanish regions (ranging from 16% to 27%), with the home cultural backgrounds as the aspect contributing most to this inequality in all of them.
  • 6
       The main channel through which socio- economic and cultural circumstances operate in Spanish regions is that of grade repetition, except in Catalonia, Andalusia and the Balearic Islands, where the most important factor is the student’s educational expectations.
Grade repetition channels almost 50% of inequality of opportunity in educational performance in Spanish regions
Grade repetition channels almost 50% of inequality of opportunity in educational performance in Spanish regions

Contribution of potential channels to inequality of educational opportunity in Spain.

Classification

Tags

Subject areas

Related content

call

Call to support research projects on education and society

The Social Observatory of the ”la Caixa” Foundation has announced a call to support social science research projects that use quantitative survey data on education and society in Spain.

Report

Minimum wage, a measure in favour of a social contract

Spain’s minimum interprofessional wage increased by 29.1% between 2019 and 2020. What effects has this increase had on social welfare and on the fight against inequality?

Report

Inequality and social contract

What is the extent of inequality in Spain? We present a compendium of 11 reports that tackle its determinant factors and the policies necessary for its reduction.

Report

Job uncertainty and income redistribution preferences

The duality between temporary and permanent contracts conditions the labour market in Spain and causes differences in job security and income. What impact does this have on people’s redistribution preferences?

Report

The roots of inequality: intergenerational social mobility and territory

This paper analyses why Spain is one of the European countries where place of birth and parental income most condition people’s earnings.

You may also find interesting

Percentage of population with basic education and higher

Infodata

Percentage of population with basic education and higher


Education

Education level in Spain is more polarised than in the rest of the EU. This indicator offers data that demonstrate this..

Early leavers from education and training reflect social inequalities

Article

Early leavers from education and training reflect social inequalities


Education

What factors increase the likelihood of students dropping out? Poor grades are not the only indicator of early drop-out.

Overeducated and unhappy? Evaluation of the consequences of overeducation

Article

Overeducated and unhappy? Evaluation of the consequences of overeducation


Education

In Spain, 20% of workers are overeducated for the job functions that they perform. This study analyses how this situation reduces satisfaction in the employment sphere.