Do parents' occupations have an impact on student performance?

How much can we infer about a student's performance in school by looking at what his or her parents do for a living? To find out, PISA 2012 asked participating students about their parents' occupations. The students' responses were then coded into an internationally comparable classification that allows for identifying individuals working in similar industries, on similar tasks, with the same types of responsibilities. For example, the classification defines the following nine major occupational groups ordered according to the levels of skills that are demanded in those occupations. Managers are considered the most highly-skilled, followed by professionals; technicians and associate professionals; clerical support workers; service and sales workers; skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers; craft and related trades workers; plant and machine operators and assemblers; and workers in elementary occupations.

Within each group, individuals are classified according to the field in which they work. For example, professionals are categorized as health professionals, teaching professionals, science professionals or business and administration professionals.

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