The Dynamics of the Racial Test Score Gap During the School Years in Britain

37 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2006

See all articles by Yves Zenou

Yves Zenou

Monash University - Department of Economics; Stockholm University; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

We investigate the racial gap in test scores between white and non-white students in Britain both in levels and differences across the school years. We find that there is a substantial racial gap in test scores, especially between ages 7 and 11, and a less severe one between ages 11 and 16. It thus seems that nonwhites are losing ground at school, especially during the first five years. We then investigate the reasons behind this racial gap and its evolution. We focus on racial differences in parents' involvement in education. We find that a non-negligible part of the test score racial gap can be explained by these cultural differences. In particular, we show that if non-white parents would invest in education of their 11 year-old children as much as white parents do, then the racial test score gap in reading and mathematics would be reduced by 18.1 and 7.2 percent, respectively.

Keywords: Ethnic minorities, education, cultural differences, parental involvement

JEL Classification: I21, J15, J24

Suggested Citation

Zenou, Yves and Patacchini, Eleonora, The Dynamics of the Racial Test Score Gap During the School Years in Britain (May 2006). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5661, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=921057

Yves Zenou (Contact Author)

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Australia

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IUI) ( email )

P.O. Box 5501
S-114 85 Stockholm
Sweden

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Eleonora Patacchini

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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