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Does School Tracking Affect Equality of Opportunity? New International Evidence

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  • Daniele Checchi

    (University of Milan)

  • Giorgio Brunello

Abstract

This paper investigates whether at the interaction between family background and school tracking affects human capital accumulation. Our a priori view is that more tracking should reinforce the role of parental privilege, and thereby reduce equality of opportunity. Compared to the current literature, which focuses on early outcomes, such as test scores at 13 and 15, we look at later outcomes, including literacy, dropout rates, college enrolment, employability and earnings. While we do not confirm previous results that tracking reinforces family background effects on literacy, we do confirm our view when looking at educational attainment and labour market outcomes. When looking at early wages, we find that parental background effects are stronger when tracking starts earlier. We reconcile the apparently contrasting results on literacy, educational attainment and earnings by arguing that the signalling role of formal education – captured by attainment – matters more than actual skills – measured by literacy – in the early stages of labour market experience.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universitá degli Studi di Milano in its series UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics with number unimi-1044.

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Date of creation: 17 Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bep:unimip:unimi-1044

Note: oai:cdlib1:unimi-1044
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Keywords: education; training; literacy;

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References

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  1. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2003. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 10066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 1, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  3. Andreas Ammermueller & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," CEE Discussion Papers 0065, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
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  10. Pekkarinen, Tuomas, 2005. "Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: Evidence on the Role of the Tracking Age from a Finnish Quasi-Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 1897, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  12. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," NBER Working Papers 5708, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. David N. Figlio & Marianne E. Page, 2000. "School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Equality?," NBER Working Papers 8055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando & Vignoles, Anna, 2004. "The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability," IZA Discussion Papers 1245, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  20. Bauer, Philipp & Riphahn, Regina T., 2006. "Timing of school tracking as a determinant of intergenerational transmission of education," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 90-97, April.
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  26. repec:fth:prinin:357 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Oded Galor & Omer Moav & Dietrich Vollrath, 2006. "Inequality in Land Ownership, the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions, and Great Divergence," Working Papers 2006-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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  29. Bassanini, Andrea & Booth, Alison L. & Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Leuven, Edwin, 2005. "Workplace Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  33. Vincent Vandenberge, 2006. "Achievement effectiveness and equity: the role of tracking, grade repetition and inter-school segregation," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(11), pages 685-693.
  34. Brown, Giorgina & Micklewright, John & Schnepf, Sylke V. & Waldmann, Robert, 2005. "Cross-National Surveys of Learning Achievement: How Robust are the Findings?," IZA Discussion Papers 1652, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Early tracking--not good.
    by René Böheim in Econ Tidbits on 2012-12-21 09:26:00
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