February 2007

IZA DP No. 2613: The Racial Test Score Gap and Parental Involvement in Britain

published in: Economics Letters, 2009, 102, 49-52

We investigate the racial gap in test scores between black and white students in Britain both in levels and differences across the school years. We find that there is an increasing racial gap in test scores between ages 7 and 11, and a decreasing one between ages 11 and 16. Using the richness of information of the National Child Development Study, we find that the evolution of the racial test score gap reflects the racial parenting gap. The latter can, in turn, be explained by the fact that, during this period, the social structure of black families has gone through important changes while it has remained roughly the same for white families.