Inequality in pupils' educational attainment: how much do family, sibling type and neighbourhood matter?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Publication details

DateE-pub ahead of print - 17 Dec 2012
DatePublished (current) - Apr 2013
Issue number318
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)197-218
Early online date17/12/12
Original languageEnglish


We explore the relative influence of family and neighborhood on pupils’ test scores and how this varies by sibling type. Using English register data we find that the neighborhood explains at most 10-15% of the variance in pupils’ test scores, whereas the variance explained by family is between 44 and 54% at the end of primary school and between 47 and 61% at the end of compulsory schooling. The family influence is significantly higher for identical twins. It is also higher for fraternal twins than for non-twin siblings brought up at different times and therefore experiencing varying family circumstances.

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