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Educational Systems, Intergenerational Mobility and Social Segmentation

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  • Nathalie Chusseau
  • Joël Hellier

Abstract

We show that the very characteristics of educational systems generate social segmentation. A stylised educational framework is constructed in which everyone receives a compulsory basic education and can subsequently choose between direct working, vocational studies and university. There is a selection for entering the university which consists of a minimum human capital level at the end of basic education. In the model, an individual's human capital depends (i) on her/his parents' human capital, (ii) on her/his schooling time, and (iii) on public expenditure for education. There are three education functions corresponding to each type of study (basic, vocational, university). Divergences in total educational expenditure, in its distribution between the three studies and in the selection severity, combined with the initial distribution of human capital across individuals, can result in very different social segmentations and generate under education traps (situations in which certain dynasties remain unskilled from generation to generation) at the steady state. We finally implement a series of simulations that illustrate these findings in the cases of egalitarian and elitist educational systems. Assuming the same initial distribution of human capital between individuals, we find that the first system results in two-segment stratification, quasi income equality and no under education trap whereas the elitist system generates three segments, significant inequality and a large under education trap

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cattaneo University (LIUC) in its journal The European Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 203-233

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Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:8:y:2011:i:2:p:203-233

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Related research

Keywords: Educational systems; intergenerational mobility; social segmentation; under-education trap;

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References

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  1. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Das, Mausumi, 2007. "Persistent inequality: An explanation based on limited parental altruism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 251-270, September.
  3. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 2004. "The evolution of modern educational systems: Technical vs. general education, distributional conflict, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 559-582, April.
  4. Driskill, Robert A & Horowitz, Andrew W, 2002. "Investment in Hierarchical Human Capital," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 48-58, February.
  5. Vicky Barham & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau, 1991. "Education and Poverty Trap," Working Papers 830, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. " The Distribution of Human Capital and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 93-124, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Nathalie Chusseau & Joel Hellier, 2012. "Education, Intergenerational Mobility and Inequality," Working Papers 261, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Joël Hellier & Stéphane Lambrecht, 2012. "Inequality, growth and welfare: The main links," Working Papers 258, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. Ben-Halima, B. & Chusseau, N. & Hellier, J., 2014. "Skill premia and intergenerational education mobility: The French case," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 50-64.
  4. Elise S. Brezis & Joël Hellier, 2013. "Social Mobility at the Top: Why Are Elites Self-Reproducing?," Working Papers 2013-12, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.

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