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Has the effect of parents’ education on child’s education changed over time?

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  • Jenny Chesters
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    Abstract

    This paper examines whether the expansion of higher education has reduced inequality by providing more opportunities for students from less privileged backgrounds to attend university or further entrenched existing inequalities. Drawing on Maximally Maintained Inequality theory and Relative Risk Aversion theory, I use logistic regressions to analyse data collected by three nationally representative, crosssectional surveys conducted between 1987 and 2005 (N= 4463) to examine the association between parents’ education and child’s education. Having a universityeducated parent is used as a proxy for membership of the privileged class based on the assumption that children of university-educated parents are more likely to take advantage of opportunities to acquire higher education. University-educated parents are also better placed to provide extra tuition and to assist their children negotiate the education system. I find that although the expansion of higher education has had some impact, having a university-educated parent continues to exert a direct effect on an individual’s propensity to graduate from university.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 637.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:637

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    Keywords: Higher Education; Inequality; Mobility;

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    1. Chapman, Bruce & Ryan, Chris, 2005. "The access implications of income-contingent charges for higher education: lessons from Australia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 491-512, October.
    2. Chapman, B., 1996. "Conceptual Issues and the Australian Experience with Income Contingent Charges for Higher Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 350, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
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