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Determined to Succeed?Performance versus Choice in Educational Attainment$
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Michelle Jackson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783026

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783026.001.0001

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Class Origins, High School Graduation, and College Entry in the United States

Class Origins, High School Graduation, and College Entry in the United States

(p.279) Chapter Ten Class Origins, High School Graduation, and College Entry in the United States
Determined to Succeed?

Stephen L. Morgan

Michael W. Spiller

Jennifer J. Todd

Stanford University Press

This chapter analyzes data drawn from the National Education Longitudinal Study to assess the contribution of primary and secondary effects in creating class inequalities in the United States, considering both high school completion and the transition from high school to university degree. It also discusses the causal model underlying the primary-versus-secondary-effects distinction and explores alternative causal paths from social background to transition. Primary and secondary effects are both present in the United States, as in other countries. The chapter regards the causal identification challenges to be sufficient grounds for caution in interpreting differences between what-if transition rates from these models as causal quantities that reflect choice-based secondary effects.

Keywords:   US educational system, US class inequalities, school transition, secondary effects

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