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The cultural determinants of educational performance

10th National Competition for Economic Research Grants

Analylsis of international educational indicators

Senior Researcher : Ildefonso Méndez Martínez

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Research Centre or Institution : Universidad de Murcia.


This project analyses the existence of a cultural factor in educational performance. A first article analysed the extent to which the qualities different societies consider desirable in a child determine the educational performance of that child at the age of 15. To neutralise the effect of the institutions, an analysis was undertaken of the differential performance of second-generation immigrants of different origin in the same destination country. It was discovered that the children whose mother or father came from countries in which qualities related to the long term are considered more relevant, such as perseverance or savings, obtain better results in all disciplines than those whose parents come from societies in which other qualities are valued. This result, which is reinforced when both parents come from the same country, is true for all the destination countries considered: Australia, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

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