Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Arbetsrapport,
Institute for Futures Studies

No 2007:3: Making their mark. Disentangling the Effects of Neighbourhood and School Environments on Educational Achievement

Lars Brännström ()
Additional contact information
Lars Brännström: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: One subject that has received ample attention in recent years is the potential negative effects of spatial concentrations of disadvantage on participation in society, particularly in terms of labour market participation and educational careers. This study contributes to the literature on the effects of neighbourhood and school on individual educational outcomes by examining whether and to what extent adolescent educational achievement is determined by neighbourhood and school population characteristics. By using an unusually rich administrative data set of leaving certificates for around 26,000 upper secondary school students who were registered as residing in any of the three metropolitan areas of Sweden in the school year 2004, cross-classified multilevel analyses show that characteristics attributable to upper secondary schools matter much more for the variability in achievement than do neighbourhoods. There are also indications of contextual effects at each level (particularly among boys with an immigrant background) that operate above and beyond the impact of observed individual-level background attributes. Since the estimated effects of concentrations of (dis)advantage and immigrant density at neighbourhood and school level point in different directions, this study demonstrates the benefits of analysing the effects of neighbourhood and school on individual educational outcomes at the same time.

Keywords: education; neighbourhood

JEL-codes: I20; J31

36 pages, June 25, 2007

Price: 25 SEK

Note: ISSN: 1652-120X ISBN: 978-91-85619-01-6

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