School Outcomes and Neighbourhood Effects: A New Approach Using Data from Finland

  • Venla Bernelius
  • Timo M. Kauppinen


Studies consistently show that the Finnish educational system is one of the best in the world with only small variations in educational outcomes between pupils and schools. In this chapter, it is argued that these country level observations hide dramatic variations within the country: when educational outcomes are studied for the Helsinki Metropolitan area, large variations can be found between neighbourhoods, schools, and individuals. Recent research suggests that these differences are growing, making the Helsinki Metropolitan area an attractive “urban laboratory” as neighbourhood effects are generally assumed to intensify as socio-spatial segregation increases. The chapter presents a critical commentary on results from a study on neighbourhood effects and educational outcomes, using data for Finland. The chapter ends with the presentation of the design of a new research project funded by the Finnish National Research Council, and the Academy of Finland, to overcome some of the shortcomings of previous research. The study will collect longitudinal data on a large sample of pupils with detailed information about individuals, households, schools and neighbourhoods. This design will allow the use of multilevel models to estimate neighbourhood effects.


Contextual Effect Educational Outcome Collective Efficacy Neighbourhood Effect School Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geosciences and GeographyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Social ResearchUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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