Socio-economic status, inequality and academic achievement

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

1 Citation (Scopus)


Families with more education, higher incomes or higher social status (socio-economic status or SES) than other families can use their superior resources to help their children obtain higher academic achievement, while greater SES inequality reduces the academic achievement of not only poorer students but also students overall. Higher SES families have more capital (human, financial, social and cultural) and can provide their children with more educational resources and learning opportunities. These higher SES children can then capitalize on these additional resources and opportunities to learn more. Furthermore, students in higher SES families often attend schools with more resources, which support higher academic achievement. Lastly, students in these families can often obtain a larger share of school or country resources to aid their own learning, even though this inequality can hurt the overall achievement of the school or the country. SES inequality has overall negative effects on all students’ learning, both rich and poor, due to fewer educational resources and inefficient resource allocation. In countries with fewer educational resources, students learn less overall. Likewise, when resources are inefficiently allocated to richer students who do not need them as much as poorer students, overall student achievement is lower. Copyright © 2016 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocioeconomic Status: Influences, Disparities and Current Issues
EditorsGeoffrey PERKINS
PublisherNova Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)9781634853262
ISBN (Print)9781634853422
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Chiu, M. M. (2016). Socio-economic status, inequality and academic achievement. In G. Perkins (Ed.), Socioeconomic Status: Influences, Disparities and Current Issues (pp. 1-26). New York: Nova Publishers.


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