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Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity

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  • Gabriela Schütz
  • Heinrich Ursprung
  • Ludger Woessmann

Abstract

We provide a measure of equality of educational opportunity in 54 countries, estimated as the effect of family background on student performance in two international TIMSS tests. We then show how organizational features of the education system affect equality of educational opportunity. Our model predicts that late tracking and a long pre-school cycle are beneficial for equality, while pre-school enrollment is detrimental at low levels of enrollment and beneficial at higher levels. Using cross-country variations in education policies and their interaction with family background at the student level, we provide empirical evidence supportive of these predictions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1518.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1518

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Related research

Keywords: equality of opportunity; educational production; family background; student performance; tracking; pre-school; efficiency-equity tradeoff;

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References

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  1. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "Poverty and Worklessness in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0579, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," NBER Working Papers 11124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. L Feinstein & Donald Robertson & James Symons, 1998. "Pre-School Education and Attainment in the NCDS and BCS," CEP Discussion Papers dp0382, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Dennis Epple & Elizabeth Newlon & Richard Romano, 2000. "Ability Tracking, School Competition, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fuchs, Thomas & Wößmann, Ludger, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Munich Reprints in Economics 20303, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
  7. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," Working Papers 00-20, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  8. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  9. Chiswick, Barry R. & DebBurman, Noyna, 2004. "Pre-School Enrollment: An Analysis by Immigrant Generation," IZA Discussion Papers 1226, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Magnuson, Katherine A. & Ruhm, Christopher & Waldfogel, Jane, 2007. "Does prekindergarten improve school preparation and performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-51, February.
  11. 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.
  12. Woessmann, Ludger, 2004. "How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1284, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  14. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2001. "Asymptotic Properties Of Weighted M-Estimators For Standard Stratified Samples," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 451-470, April.
  15. Anderson, Patricia M, 1993. "Linear Adjustment Costs and Seasonal Labor Demand: Evidence from Retail Trade Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1015-42, November.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Social mobility: limits of education
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2007-06-25 08:43:35
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