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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. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Edward P. Lazear, 1999. "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S95-S126, December.
  5. Bearse, P. & Glomm, G. & Ravikumar, B., 1999. "On the Political Economy of Means-Tested Education Vouchers," Papers 9904, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
  6. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  7. Z. Chen & Edwin G. West, 1998. "Selective Versus Universal Vouchers: Modelling Median Voter Preferences in Education," Carleton Economic Papers 98-02, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2000.
  8. Benabou, Roland, 1993. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 619-52, August.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2001. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 500-528, June.
  12. Edward P. Lazear, 1998. "Diversity and Immigration," NBER Working Papers 6535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-90, June.
  15. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  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. 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.
  21. Mark Gradstein & Moshe Justman, 2002. "Education, Social Cohesion, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1192-1204, September.
  22. 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.
  23. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2000. "Human capital, social capital, and public schooling," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 879-890, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tullio Jappelli & Daniele Checchi, 2003. "School Choice and Quality," CSEF Working Papers 91, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 09 Jul 2004.
  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. Davide, DOTTORI & I-Ling, SHEN, 2008. "Low-Skilled Immigration and th Expansion of Private Schools," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2008023, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  4. Bertola, Giuseppe & Checchi, Daniele, 2002. "Sorting and Private Education in Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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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