Gianni De Fraja of the University of Leicester in England links parents' efforts to socioeconomic background.
De Fraja, Leicester colleague Tania Oliveira, and Luisa Zanchi of the Leeds University Business School analyzed how parents' socioeconomic background affects student achievement. Socioeconomic background not only affects a child's efforts but the efforts made by the school, the researchers say.
The study, published in the Review of Economics and Statistics, finds the family's effort was more important than the school's effort which, in turn, was more important than the child's own effort. The researchers concluded the main channel through which parental socioeconomic background affects achievement is via effort.
"Parents from a more advantaged environment exert more effort, and this influences positively the educational attainment of their children," De Fraja says in a statement. "By the same token, the parents' background also increases the school's effort, which increases the school achievement. Why schools work harder where parents are from a more privileged background we do not know. It might be because middle class parents are more vocal in demanding that the school works hard."