Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Barriers to skill acquisition in Brazil: Public and private school students performance in a public university entrance exam

Contents:

Author Info

  • Cavalcanti, Tiago
  • Guimaraes, Juliana
  • Sampaio, Breno

Abstract

This paper uses a novel data set to quantify the difference in performance of public and private school students in an entrance test exam of the major public university in Brazilian Northeast (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco - UFPE). Although there are many public universities in Brazil, from our knowledge, there is no study that uses data on entrance test scores at such universities to evaluate the determinants of students' performance and the barriers for public school students to get in the good universities. The data set has detailed information on individual and school characteristics, and family background. We found that test scores of public school students are on average about 4.2-17% lower than those taken by private school students, depending on the set of controls. This result is robust when we address problems related to attrition, omitted variables (e.g., cognitive ability), and unobservable selectivity. We also show that once students get into the university, those from public schools perform as well as those from private schools. In addition, the proportion of public school students that gets into the university is roughly the same as the proportion of students doing the entrance exam. However, there is a strong barrier for public school students to get into high competitive majors. The fraction of students from public schools that gets into high competitive majors such as law, medicine, and electronic engineering is almost null. Our findings provide quantitative evidence to the common view that the Brazilian elitist high education system is an important channel for inequality persistence.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5X-50S2RFW-1/2/063c7e0c9ca4fa3215286e05282f35ff
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 50 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 395-407

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:quaeco:v:50:y:2010:i:4:p:395-407

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620167

Related research

Keywords: Inequality Public and private schools Test scores;

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2008. "Using Selection on Observed Variables to Assess Bias from Unobservables When Evaluating Swan-Ganz Catheterization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 345-50, May.
  3. François Bourguignon & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2003. "Inequality of Outcomes and Inequality of Opportunities in Brazil," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-630, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  5. Eric A. Hanushek, . "Interpreting Recent Research on Schooling in Developing Countries," Wallis Working Papers WP3, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  6. Sangeeta Goyal, 2009. "Inside the house of learning: the relative performance of public and private schools in Orissa," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 315-327.
  7. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1995. "On the Political Economy of Education Subsidies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 249-62, April.
  8. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 433-464, May.
  9. Kingdon, Geeta & Teal, Francis, 2010. "Teacher unions, teacher pay and student performance in India: A pupil fixed effects approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 278-288, March.
  10. 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.
  11. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  12. Patrick McEwan, 2008. "Can Schools Reduce the Indigenous Test Score Gap? Evidence from Chile," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(10), pages 1506-1530.
  13. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
  14. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Educational Production," NBER Working Papers 7349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, 09.
  16. Derek Neal, 2002. "How Vouchers Could Change the Market for Education," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 25-44, Fall.
  17. Powell, James L., 1986. "Censored regression quantiles," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 143-155, June.
  18. Bellows, John & Miguel, Edward, 2009. "War and local collective action in Sierra Leone," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1144-1157, December.
  19. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, 03.
  21. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Joseph Deutsch & Jacques Silber, 2011. "An ordinal approach to the study of intergenerational opportunities for standard of living: the case of Latin America," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 579-604, December.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:quaeco:v:50:y:2010:i:4:p:395-407. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.