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Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Conference

Dan Sherman and John Meakin of the American Institutes for Research will be presenting on "Education and the Formation of Skills - Do Parents Matter? An International Analysis using PIAAC Data". 

The proposed paper will use data from the recent the Programme of International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) to education to three key components of adult skills - literacy, numeracy, and ability to solve problems in a technology rich environment. PIAAC collected data on these skills from samples of 5,000 or more individuals aged 16 to 65 in 23 countries (primarily OECD countries, including the US and Canada) in 2012-13. In addition to collecting data on skills through an assessment instrument, PIAAC included a rich background questionnaire that collected data on individuals' own educational attainment, along with that of both the their male and females parent or guardians. A strength of PIAAC is that the it used a common set of questions on educational attainment across participating countries that can be readily mapped to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) levels to facilitate comparisons across countries.

This paper will address to two separate questions: 1) To what extent is own educational attainment associated with differences in each of the three skills as measured on common PIAAC scale (0-500 points) by country, given the age and gender of individuals? 2) To what is parental education (mother's, father's, or higher of the two parents) associated with differences in skills, given one's own educational? Are there persistence effects associated with higher levels of parental education that could be associated with improved home education for example?

For more information on the conference, please visit