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Education and Social Mobility

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  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Philippe De Donder
  • Pierre Pestieau

Abstract

This paper shows that the design of education policy involves a potential conflict between welfare and social mobility. We consider a setting in which social mobility is maximized under the least elitist public education system, whereas welfare maximization calls for the most elitist system. We show that when private education is available, the degree of elitism that maximizes social mobility increases, while the welfare-maximizing degree of elitism decreases. The ranking between the welfare- and mobility-maximizing degree of elitism may even be reversed. Utilitarian welfare is always higher when private supplementary education is available, but social mobility may be reduced.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2010/wp-cesifo-2010-02/cesifo1_wp2951.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2951.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2951

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Related research

Keywords: elitism; egalitarianism; private education;

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  1. Atkinson, Anthony B & Bourguignon, Francois, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201, April.
  2. H. I. Grossman & M. Kim, 1999. "Educational Policy: Egalitarian or Elitist?," Working Papers 365, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  3. Daniel Mejía & Marc St-Pierre, 2005. "Unequal Opportunities and Human Capital Formation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1383, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Bruno, Michael, 1976. "Equality, complementarity and the incidence of public expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 395-407, November.
  5. Peter Gottschalk & Enrico Spolare, 2001. "On the Evaluation of Economic Mobility," Working Papers 2001-25, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. De Fraja, Gianni, 1998. "The Design of Optimal Education Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "The Role of School Improvement in Economic Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 1911, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Bovenberg, A.L. & Jacobs, B., 2001. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Discussion Paper 2001-82, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1971. "A Utilitarian Approach to the Concept of Equality in Public Expenditure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 409-15, August.
  10. Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau & Maria Racionero, 2011. "Unequal wages for equal utilities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 383-398, August.
  11. A. Lans Bovenberg & Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Ulph, David, 1977. "On the optimal distribution of income and educational expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 341-356, December.
  13. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2008. "The impact of changing skill levels on optimal nonlinear income taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1765-1771, July.
  14. Darío Maldonado, 2008. "Education policies and optimal taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 131-143, April.
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