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Tracking in the Tracks Understanding Inequality Patterns in the Italian Public Schooling System

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  • Luigi Benfratello
  • Giuseppe Sorrenti
  • Gilberto Turati

Abstract

We study whether – beyond an EU-style tracking separating students in general versus vocational curricula – the Italian highly centralized public schooling is characterized by an implicit US-style tracking system separating students by ability within the same track. We pursue this aim by using administrative data on a standardized admission test at the School of Economics in Turin. We proxy students’ ability with the test score and check whether students across schools within the same track are stratified by ability and household income. Our findings strongly suggest that the inequality patterns common in Italian schooling are affected by both types of tracking.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA in its series CHILD Working Papers Series with number 19.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wchild:19

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Keywords: public schools; educational inequalities; school stratification; school tracking;

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References

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  1. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2006. "Does educational tracking affect performance and inequality? differences-in-differences evidence across countries," Munich Reprints in Economics 20457, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Checchi, Daniele & Flabbi, Luca, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks," IZA Discussion Papers 2876, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
  4. Checchi, Daniele & Ichino, Andrea & Rustichini, Aldo, 1999. "More equal but less mobile?: Education financing and intergenerational mobility in Italy and in the US," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 351-393, December.
  5. Epple, Dennis & Figlio, David & Romano, Richard, 2004. "Competition between private and public schools: testing stratification and pricing predictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1215-1245, July.
  6. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich Ursprung & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1518, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2010. "Peer group effects on the academic performance of Italian students," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(17), pages 2203-2215.
  8. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari & Silvia Redaelli, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions through Partially Overlapping Peer Groups," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 241-75, April.
  9. Krueger, Alan B & Whitmore, Diane M, 2001. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 1-28, January.
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  11. Stephen Gibbons & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2006. "Are schools drifting apart? Intake stratification in English secondary schools," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19420, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Daniele Checchi & Giorgio Brunello, 2006. "Does School Tracking Affect Equality of Opportunity? New International Evidence," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1044, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
  13. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity in Italy," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 429-450, December.
  14. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard & Sieg, Holger, 2000. "Peer Effects, Financial Aid, and Selection of Students into Colleges and Universities: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 00-02, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  15. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  16. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  17. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
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