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Higher education, elite institutions and inequality

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  • Bergh, Andreas
  • Fink, Günther

Abstract

We develop a model of higher education to analyze the effects of elite institutions on individual educational decisions and aggregate labor market outcomes. Elite institutions allow the most talented of a given population to separate themselves from the larger pool of agents enrolled in higher education, and to earn the associated wage premium in the labor market. As elite institutions engage in cream skimming, the returns to publicly accessible education decrease, and enrollment in public higher education declines. The resulting effect on income inequality is ambiguous, since elite education increases income dispersion at the top of the income distribution, and decreases income dispersion at the bottom.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 53 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 376-384

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:3:p:376-384

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

Related research

Keywords: Higher education Returns to education Inequality Signalling;

References

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  1. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
  2. Fernández, Raquel & Galí, Jordi, 1997. "To Each According To...? Markets, Tournaments, and the Matching Problem with Borrowing Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 1627, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  8. Hendel, Igal & Shapiro, Joel & Willen, Paul, 2005. "Educational opportunity and income inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 841-870, June.
  9. De Fraja, Gianni, 1998. "The Design of Optimal Education Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  11. Donald Robertson & James Symons, 2003. "Self-selection in the state school system," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 259-272.
  12. Sanghoon Lee, 2007. "The Timing Of Signaling: To Study In High School Or In College?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(3), pages 785-807, 08.
  13. Hanming Fang, 2006. "Disentangling The College Wage Premium: Estimating A Model With Endogenous Education Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1151-1185, November.
  14. Lang, Kevin & Kropp, David, 1986. "Human Capital versus Sorting: The Effects of Compulsory Attendance Laws," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 609-24, August.
  15. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  16. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Masashi Tanaka, 2013. "Human capital investment, Signaling, and Wage differentials," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-31, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).

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