The Anatomy of Inequalities in Educational Achievements: An International Investigation of the Effects of Stratification

LLAKES Research Paper N° 3

This paper analyses the mechanisms of stratification and inequalities in achievements. The main objective is to determine how stratification leads to unequal educational outcomes and how inequalities are channelled through student characteristics, school characteristics and peer effects.

On the one hand, a descriptive analysis is used to shed light on the education systems of the five selected countries and to provide insight into the functioning of stratification. The countries are Japan, the UK, Italy, Germany and Finland, and the dataset used is PISA 2003. On the other hand, a multilevel econometric model is elaborated in order to quantify the effects of student, school and peer characteristics on performance scores. The results on the regressions are then interpreted according to the institutional context of each country. In the last section, policy implications, based on the regression results, are derived.

JEL Classification: I20, I21, H52.

Keywords: Educational stratification, achievement inequalities, comparative analysis of education systems, multilevel modelling.

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