Keywords: Education; Inequality; Policy Change; Sweden
The aim of this paper is to review the most important empirical results on the development of social-background inequalities in educational attainment of adolescents in Sweden at the end of compulsory education and in upper secondary education. The focus is on quantitative studies of the development during the past 25-30 years. Research indicate that the role of family background for adolescents' grade point averages at the end of com-pulsory education has been remarkable stable during the 20-year period between 1988 and 2007, while social inequality in upper secondary education is to a larger extent character-ized by change. Importantly, the development of social inequality in upper secondary educa-tion depends on the aspect in focus. One general conclusion is that so called "primary ef-fects" account for a substantial part of the inequality process to academic upper secondary education, and seems to be more resistant to change over time than 'secondary effects' are.