The educational quality of early school leavers and the cross-national variation of their income disadvantage
Title: The educational quality of early school leavers and the cross-national variation of their income disadvantage
Author: VAN ALPHEN, Stan
Citation: Educational Research and Evaluation, 2009, 15, 6, 543–560
The average quality of available educational resources varies significantly across Europe. This not only affects school success and failure but also subsequent labour market outcomes. The main research question in this paper is to what extent this compositional variation among early school leavers (ESLrs) in particular can account for the cross-national variation of their income disadvantage relative to higher educated individuals. Findings from 3 consecutive years of cross-sectional data (EU Statistics on Income & Living Conditions [EU-SILC], 2005-2007) show that, controlling for the influence of other important country-level indicators, both educational expenditure and a country's mean PISA achievement test score interact with the effect of early school leaving on gross personal income. The income disadvantage of ESLrs is smaller in countries where the average quality of available educational resources is higher. Furthermore, this also applies to educational resources currently available to ESLrs, with the prevalence of lifelong learning yielding the same moderating effect on the income disadvantage of ESLrs.
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