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Public Education and the Melting Pot

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  • Gradstein, Mark
  • Justman, Moshe

Abstract

This Paper proposes a theoretical framework that combines the role of education as a cultural melting pot with its function as an instrument of human capital accumulation. It highlights the important role of public education in promoting social cohesion: requiring minority parents to pay twice for culturally distinct private education is a powerful incentive for cultural assimilation through public education. Conversely, subsidizing private schooling through vouchers or tax credits increases social polarization, which may partly explain the strong opposition to voucher experiments. Public education is especially effective in promoting the cultural assimilation of poorer immigrants, but may not be effective in dealing with large numbers of high-income immigrants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2924.

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Date of creation: Aug 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2924

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Related research

Keywords: cultural assimilation; education vouchers; public education;

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References

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  1. Glaeser, E.L. & Scheinkman, J.A., 1993. "Economic Growth in a Cross-Section of Cities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1645, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
  3. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," JCPR Working Papers 61, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  4. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "Beyond the Melting Pot: Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," Papers 1999-10, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
  6. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2001. "Education, Social Cohesion and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 2773, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edwin G. West & Zhiqi Chen, 2000. "Selective versus Universal Vouchers: Modelling Median Voter Preferences in Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1520-1534, December.
  9. Chiswick, Barry R, 1991. "Speaking, Reading, and Earnings among Low-Skilled Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 149-70, April.
  10. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  11. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  12. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1998. "Human Capital and Social Capital: The Rise of Secondary Schooling in America, 1910 to 1940," NBER Working Papers 6439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  14. West, Edwin G, 1997. "Education Vouchers in Principle and Practice: A Survey," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 83-103, February.
  15. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2000. "Human capital, social capital, and public schooling," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 879-890, May.
  16. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human Capital Externalities," NBER Working Papers 4912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
  18. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Diversity and Immigration," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 117-142 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Hoyt, William H. & Lee, Kangoh, 1998. "Educational vouchers, welfare effects, and voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 211-228, June.
  20. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  21. Bearse, P. & Glomm, G. & Ravikumar, B., 1999. "On the Political Economy of Means-Tested Education Vouchers," Papers 9904, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
  22. Denise DiPasquale & Edward L. Glaeser, 1996. "The L.A. Riot and the Economics of Urban Unrest," NBER Working Papers 5456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Estelle James, 1993. "Why Do Different Countries Choose a Different Public-Private Mix of Educational Services?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(3), pages 571-592.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Checchi, Daniele & Jappelli, Tullio, 2003. "School Choice and Quality," IZA Discussion Papers 828, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Benedikt Langner, 2005. "Bildungsreform und Werteerziehung: Eine ökonomische Betrachtung," Otto-Wolff-Institut Discussion Paper Series 03/2005, Otto-Wolff-Institut für Wirtschaftsordnung, Köln, Deutschland.
  3. Dottori, Davide & Shen, I-Ling, 2009. "Low-Skilled Immigration and the Expansion of Private Schools," IZA Discussion Papers 3946, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Daniele Checchi & Giuseppe Bertola, 2001. "Sorting and private education in Italy," Departmental Working Papers 2001-21, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  5. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2005. "The melting pot and school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 871-896, June.

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