Equality of opportunity – How can education and family policy influence?

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2014
End date: 31/12/2017
Funding: 3835000 SEK


The main research question within my proposal asks how policy can influence equality of educational opportunity. Equalization of educational opportunity is a cornerstone in any society with ambitions to decrease the importance of "circumstances" beyond individuals' control. The research takes its starting point in the observation that Sweden by international comparison is a country with low income inequality but where inequalities are on the rising. In addition, since the first results of PISA came out in 2000, test scores of Swedish 15-year olds have declined dramatically. The cohorts born 1970 and onwards have experienced several important policy changes that might affect both the formation of skills and the link between parental background and educational achievement: the expansion of subsidized pre-school, the introduction of school choice, and the potential intergenerational effects of the comprehensive school introduction that affected the parents of these cohorts. The objective of my research is to disentangle the relative contributions of the three policy changes described above. In all three cases, variation across local governments and time allow for difference-in-difference type estimation. Trends in equality of opportunity will be measured using sibling correlations in school performance as well as in long-term educational outcomes. This research fills a void in the literature by combining estimation of intergenerational mobility with policy evaluation methods.

Last updated on 2017-22-03 at 07:13