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The Quest for More and More Education: Implications for Social Mobility

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  • Lindley, Joanne

    ()
    (King's College London)

  • Machin, Stephen

    ()
    (University College London)

Abstract

In this paper, we discuss the quest for more and more education and its implications for social mobility. We document very rapid educational upgrading in Britain over the last thirty years or so and show that this rise has featured faster increases in education acquisition by people from relatively rich family backgrounds. At the same time, wage differentials for the more educated have risen. Putting these two together (more education for people from richer backgrounds and an increase in the payoff to this education) implies increasing within generation inequality and, by reinforcing already existent inequalities from the previous generation, this has hindered social mobility. We also highlight three important aspects that to date have not been well integrated into the social mobility literature: the acquisition of postgraduate qualifications; gender differences; and the poor education performance of men at the lower end of the education distribution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6581.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Fiscal Studies, 2012, 33 (2), 265 - 286
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6581

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Related research

Keywords: educational inequality; education; social mobility; wage differentials; inequality; wages;

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References

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  1. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C43-C60, 03.
  2. Martha J. Bailey & Susan M. Dynarski, 2011. "Gains and Gaps: Changing Inequality in U.S. College Entry and Completion," NBER Working Papers 17633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2008. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20081, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  4. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "The College Wage Premium and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," Studies in Economics 0809, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  5. Blanden, Jo & Gregg, Paul & Macmillan, Lindsey, 2011. "Intergenerational Persistence in Income and Social Class: The Impact of Within-Group Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 6202, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Educational Inequality and The Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(5), pages 578-596, November.
  7. Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2009. "Family Income and Education in the Next Generation: Exploring income gradients in education for current cohorts of youth," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/223, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  8. Ermisch, John & Nicoletti, Cheti, 2005. "Intergenerational earnings mobility: changes across cohorts in Britain," ISER Working Paper Series 2005-19, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Jo Blanden & Lindsey Macmillan, 2014. "Education and Intergenerational Mobility: Help or Hindrance?," DoQSS Working Papers 14-01, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  2. Jo Blanden & Lindsey Macmillan, 2014. "Education and Intergenerational Mobility: Help or Hindrance?," CASE Papers /179, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.

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