Improving educational resilience in the OECD countries
Two convergent paths
While equality of opportunity in education has been studied, the literature mainly focuses on academic performance and its determinants. Thus, to help fill this gap, this paper identifies the factors that contribute to improving equality of opportunity and the policies that should be implemented to achieve it. This work is novel in various ways. First, it defines student resilience in a new way using multilevel models applied to two groups of countries. Second, it analyses the determinants of equality of opportunity in the OECD and makes economic policy recommendations. Using the PISA waves from 2003 to 2018, our results show that uniform economic policies should not be pursued across all OECD countries. While countries in the relatively poor group need economic policies that boost per student expenditure, countries in the richer group should prioritise human capital via teacher salary. In other words, in the richer countries, it is not the level of expenditure that matters but how it is spent. Our results also demonstrate the importance of soft skills for the equality of opportunity of students in all cases. Thus, we recommend designing education policies aimed at developing these skills.