Working Paper 08/204 - abstract

Segregation and the Attainment of Minority Ethnic Pupils in England (PDF, 505kB)

Simon Burgess, Deborah Wilson, Adam Briggs and Anete Piebalga

In this paper we ask whether ethnic segregation in schools and in neighbourhoods has a causal effect on differential school attainment. We ask two related but different questions. First, we look at the test score gap between White and minority ethnic students, separately for Black Caribbean, Indian and Pakistani ethnic groups. Second, we consider the absolute performance of students in each of these minority ethnic groups across cities with varying levels of segregation. We show that, in strong contrast to similar studies in the US, the test score gap is largely unaffected by segregation for any of the three groups we study, and we find no evidence of a negative impact of ethnic segregation on absolute attainment levels.