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Equalizing educational opportunity through educational finance reform

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  • Julian R. Betts
  • John E. Roemer

Abstract

We analyze the reallocations of educational expenditures required to equalize opportunities, according to the theory of Roemer (1998). Using the NLSYM data set, we find that implementing an equal-opportunity policy across men of different races, by using educational finance as the instrument, and holding per capita educational finance fixed, would require spending six to ten times as much on black students, per capita, as on white students. Implementing an equal-opportunity policy across men from different socio-economic backgrounds, but ignoring race, does almost nothing to equalize opportunities for men of different races. Raising the school-leaving age by one year, as opposed to increasing spending per pupil directly, is a relatively inexpensive way of reducing inequality of opportunity across races, but the reduction in opportunity inequality it achieves is very small

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Paper provided by California Davis - Department of Economics in its series Department of Economics with number 99-8.

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Handle: RePEc:fth:caldec:99-8

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Postal: University of California Davis - Department of Economics. One Shields Ave., California 95616-8578
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  1. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  2. Lang, Kevin & Kropp, David, 1986. "Human Capital versus Sorting: The Effects of Compulsory Attendance Laws," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 609-24, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 11-30, April.
  2. Peragine, Vito & Serlenga, Laura, 2007. "Higher Education and Equality of Opportunity in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 3163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Equality of Opportunity: Definitions and Testable Conditions with an Application to Income in France," IDEP Working Papers 0609, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised 27 Sep 2006.
  4. François Bourguignon & Francisco Ferreira & Michael Walton, 2007. "Equity, efficiency and inequality traps: A research agenda," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 235-256, August.
  5. Donal O'Neill & Olive Sweetman & Dirk van de gaer, 1999. "Equiality of Opportunity and Kernel Density Estimation: An Application to Intergenerational Mobility," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n950999, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  6. Fabio D. Waltenberg & Vincent Vandenberghe, 2006. "What Does It Take To Achieve Equality Of Opportunity In Education? An Empirical Investigation Based On Brazilian Data," Anais do XXXIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 34th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 89, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  7. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2007. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Brazil," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 585-618, December.

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