Centre for Economic Demography

Lund University School of Economics and Management

New study in PNAS by Finn Hedefalk and Martin Dribe

Published: 2020-06-16

The social context of nearest neighbors shapes educational attainment regardless of class origin

To examine the association between childhood neighborhoods and adulthood educational attainment, Hedefalk and Dribe used geocoded register data at the address-level for 14,436 individuals growing up in Landskrona, Sweden, between 1939 and 1967, determined the highest level of education reached by age 40 between 1968 and 2015, and measured socioeconomic status based on the father's occupation. The authors found that regardless of class origin and school districts, the social class of the nearest neighbors of the same age during childhood influenced educational attainment. This suggests that socioeconomic conditions in the neighborhood were important for education, not only for the disadvantaged but also for the more advantaged groups in society.

Link to article in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America):