Research projects

Project CEMAPRE internal

TitleImplications of poverty and social exclusion on students grade retention $-$ a multilevel modelling approach.
ParticipantsAmélia Bastos (Principal Investigator), Maria Eugénia Ferrão
SummaryMultilevel models offer social science scientists a unique approach to the understanding of
individual, contextual and interaction factors implications on a given outcome variable. The
association between education and poverty or social exclusion is well documented in the literature.
It is also well known that there are substantial school variations in educational outcomes and that
compositional school effect influences the student performance, and therefore educational success.
Specifically, we are interested in the understanding of the relationship between grade retention and
students characteristics such as poverty or social exclusion status, gender, age, family
sociodemographic and economic background, and childrens living conditions in terms of health,
housing, social inclusion.

In this project we use primary microdata collected in a Portuguese municipality. Our aim is twofold:
we examine the main factors associated with students grade retention (assessed by students grade
retention) and we investigate the implications of poverty and social exclusion on the outcome
variable under analysis. The factors analyzed are grouped in two levels: schools (and
compositional characteristics of population served), and individual sociodemographic and economic
attributes of the students in these schools. Disentangling the effects of these two sources of
variation in school outcomes is important for the debate of education public policy as well as for
the design of poverty reduction policies.