Socioeconomic Inequality and Student Outcomes Across Education Systems

  • John JerrimEmail author
  • Louis Volante
  • Don A. Klinger
  • Sylke V. Schnepf
Part of the Education Policy & Social Inequality book series (EPSI, volume 4)


This chapter provides an introduction to the topic of socioeconomic inequality and student outcomes, including methodological challenges associated with cross-cultural research on this topic. Particular attention is devoted to documenting socioeconomic differences noted in prominent international achievement surveys such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), including how these results have changed over time. We show how evidence regarding socioeconomic inequalities from such large-scale international assessments is limited due to challenges with missing parental education data and reliance upon student proxy reports. A key conclusion is therefore that a different approach to understanding socioeconomic inequalities across countries is needed if real progress is going to be made in raising the achievement of young people from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. A framework for the national profiles presented in the second part of this book is then discussed.


Student achievement Socioeconomic status Inequality Comparative analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Jerrim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Louis Volante
    • 2
  • Don A. Klinger
    • 3
  • Sylke V. Schnepf
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of EducationUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Brock UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  4. 4.European Commission’s Joint Research CentreIspraItaly

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