We study the contribution of students’ circumstances to inequality of opportunity in educational achievement (IOpE) in Western Europe and explore the role of intermediate channelling variables in translating differences in circumstances into educational inequalities. Using the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) database, we find that differences in households’ cultural environment and in parental occupation are the most important contributing circumstances, with school’s circumstances being relevant mostly in Central Europe. Our results show that the relevant channels of IOpE in most countries are students’ educational and occupational expectations, their reading habits and skills, and grade repetition in previous years. These findings can provide policymakers with key insights to aid in designing educational interventions that effectively increase educational opportunities across European countries.


Marrero, G.A., Palomino, J.C. & Sicilia, G. (2023). 'Inequality of opportunity in educational achievement in Western Europe: contributors and channels'. The Journal of Economic Inequality, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10888-023-09595-5
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