John Jerrim

I am a Lecturer in Economics and Social Statistics at the Institute of Education. My research interests include the economics of education, access to higher education, intergenerational mobility, cross-national comparisons and educational inequalities. I have worked extensively with the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data, with this research reported widely in the British media. I received an ESRC Research Scholarship 2006-2010 and was awarded the prize as the ‘most promising PhD student in the quantitative social sciences’ at the University of Southampton. In October 2011, I was awarded a prestigious ESRC post-doctoral fellowship to continue my research into the educational and labour market expectations of adolescents and young adults.

Over the last year I have been successful in both publishing my work in academic journals, and disseminating results to a wide audience. I also obtained external funding from the British Academy to work on a new project entitled ‘University access amongst socio-economically disadvantaged groups – A comparison across Anglophone countries’. This involves close collaboration with other members of the PATHWAYS Programme, including those from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. The PATHWAYS programme has been instrumental in the success I have had over the past year, and will continue to play an important role in my career development. This year the BBC and the Financial Times have both covered my research and I have also been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 and Sky News.

Recently my research on Math test scores in England and East Asia was widely reported in the press. Click here for more information.




Jerrim, J. (2013). The reliability of trends over time in international education test scores: is the performance of England’s  secondary school pupils really in relative decline? Journal of Social Policy. 42(2): 259-279.

Jerrim, J. (2012) “The socio-economic gradient in teenagers’ literacy skills: how does England compare to other countries?”, Fiscal Studies, volume 33, issue 2, pp 159 – 184.

Jerrim, J. (in press) “The wage expectations of UK students: are they realistic?”, Fiscal Studies.

Jerrim, J. and Vignoles, A. (in press) “Social mobility, regression to the mean and the cognitive development of high ability children from disadvantaged homes”, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (series A).

Jerrim, J. and Vignoles, A. (In press). Social mobility, regression to the mean and the cognitive development of high ability children from disadvantaged homes. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (series A). 10.1111/j.1467-985X.2012.01072.x

Parker, P. Bodkin-Andrews, G. Marsh, H. Jerrim, J. and Schoon, I. (In press). Will closing the achievement gap solve the problem? An analysis of primary and secondary effects for indigenous university entry. Journal of Sociology.

Jerrim, J. (In press). Do college students make better predictions of their future income than young adults in the labor force? Education Economics.

Jerrim, J. and Choi, A. (Revise and resubmit). The mathematics skills of school children: how does the UK compare to the high performing East Asian nations? Journal of Education Policy.

Jerrim, J., Vignoles, A. and Finnie, R. (Revise and resubmit). University access for disadvantaged children: A comparison across English speaking countries. Economics of Education Review.

Jerrim, J. and Micklewright, J. (Under review). Socioeconomic gradients in children’s cognitive skills: are cross-country comparisons robust to who reports family background? European Sociological Review.

Jerrim, J. Vignoles, A.; Lingam, R. and Friend, A. (Under review). The socio-economic gradient in children’s reading skills and the role of genetics. British Education Research Journal

Working papers

Jerrim, J. (2011) "England's "plummeting" PISA test scores between 2000 and 2009: Is the performance of our secondary school pupils really in relative decline", DoQSS working paper 11/09

Jerrim, J. and Vignoles, A. (2011) “The use (and misuse) of statistics in understanding social mobility: regression to the mean and the cognitive development of high ability children from disadvantaged homes”, DoQSS working paper 11/01

Jerrim, J. (2011) “Socio-economic differences in children’s educational expectations: Are the US and UK really so different to other industrialized nations?”, DoQSS working paper  11/04v

Jerrim, J. (2008) “The wage expectations of UK students: how do they vary and are they realistic?” S3RI working paper series paper (A08/08)

Jerrim, J. (forthcoming) “The language achievement of disadvantaged children in England: Are they stuck to the floor or unable to reach the ceiling?”

Jerrim, J. (forthcoming) “Who has realistic income expectations: students or workers?”

Book chapters in progress

Jerrim, J. and Micklewright, J. (2012) “Parental socio-economic status and children’s cognitive achievement at ages 9 and 15: how do the links vary across countries?”, in J. Ermisch, M. Jantti and R. Erikson (eds) Inequality from Childhood to Adulthood: A Cross-National Perspective on the Transmission of Advantage, New York: Russell Sage Foundation .

Jerrim, J. and Micklewright, J. (forthcoming) “Children’s cognitive ability and parents’ education: distinguishing the impact of mothers and fathers” forthcoming in “Persistence, Privilege and Parenting: The Comparative Study of Intergenerational Mobility” Edited by T Smeeding, R. Erikson and M Jantti, New York: Russell Sage Foundation

Other work in progress

Jerrim, J.  “The link between family background and children’s higher educational plans”



Articles reporting on John's research into Maths test scores in England and East Asia, 22 February 2013:

The Guardian


Sky News

Daily Mail


India Times


The Sun

BBC report about John Jerrim's work: Bright pupils from poor backgrounds lag two years behind rich

Financial Times about John Jerrim's work: Unemployment set to impede social mobility

BBC Radio 5 interview with John Jerrim: Victoria Derbyshire show (1hr 8 minutes)

The BBC, “'No evidence' for England's schools falling behind”, 7TH December 2011,

The Guardian, “Poor children’s life chances”,  14th June 2011,

The Guardian, “Our early-years research does not contradict the government” , 28th April 2011,

The Guardian, “Feinstein’s Theory”, 14th April 2011,

Downloadable presentations

Interview with the Institute for Fiscal Studies -

Presentation to the IFS -