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posted on 18.02.2019by Bo Malmberg, Eva K. Andersson
Abstract: In this
paper, we propose a new method for assessing the extent to which schools are
successful in mixing students from different backgrounds. It is based on a
comparison of variation in the composition of the student population in
small-scale residential neighbourhoods with variation in the composition of the
student population at local schools. From this we compute a measure that
corresponds to the number of small scale neighbourhood that needs to be sampled
in order to arrive at the observed mixing of students in schools. Using this
measure we can show that in a large majority of Swedish municipalities, schools
are successful in mixing students from different types of neighbourhoods, but
in 25% of the municipalities mixing is not so good. Three fundamental
determinants of mixing are large-scale residential segregation, average school
size, and number of students in the municipality. These factors are strong
determinants of mixing and when they are included, other contextual factors
provide very little additional explanation of why mixing varies among municipalities.
With the fundamental determinants excluded the contextual factors have an
effect. For example, tertiary education, many migrants, and high proportions of
independent schools tend to lower the level of mixing.