The Adverse Effects of Economic Inequality on Educational Outcomes: An Examination of PISA Scores, 2000-2015
One of the most important economic trends of the past 30 years has been the escalating levels of within-country income inequality. Much of the developed world is currently experiencing large increases in income inequality. Indeed, income inequality in the United States now exceeds the previous highs of the 1930s. Recent research has found that increases in income inequality can produce a wide variety of societal ills. This article examines the effects of economic inequality on educational outcomes. Drawing on data provided by the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from 2000 through 2015, we find that a country’s level of economic inequality has large, negative effects on its student academic achievement. The effect sizes are largest in math. We examine a variety of potential solutions to lessen within-country economic inequality.
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