The declining influence of family background on educational attainment in Australia : The role of measured and unmeasured influences

Journal article


Marks, Gary and Mooi-Reci, Irma. (2016) The declining influence of family background on educational attainment in Australia : The role of measured and unmeasured influences. Social Science Research. 55, pp. 171 - 185. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2015.10.002
AuthorsMarks, Gary and Mooi-Reci, Irma
Abstract

The paper examines changes in the influence of family background, including socioeconomic and social background variables on educational attainment in Australia for cohorts born between 1890 and 1982. We test hypotheses from modernization theory on sibling data using random effects models and find: (i) substantial declines in the influence of family background on educational attainment (indicated by the sibling intraclass correlations); (ii) declines in the effects of both economic and cultural socioeconomic background variables; (iii) changes in the effects of some social background variables (e.g., family size); (iv) and declines in the extent that socioeconomic and social background factors account for variation in educational attainment. Unmeasured family background factors are more important, and proportionally increasingly so, for educational attainment than the measured socioeconomic and social background factors analyzed. Fixed effects models showed steeper declines in the effects of socioeconomic background variables than in standard analyses suggesting that unmeasured family factors associated with socioeconomic background obscure the full extent of the decline.

Year2016
JournalSocial Science Research
Journal citation55, pp. 171 - 185
ISSN0049-089X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2015.10.002
Page range171 - 185
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