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Education and the reproduction of economic inequality in the United States: An empirical investigation

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  • Rumberger, Russell W.

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between family background and both college completion and earnings for a cohort of young adults. The study is based on sample of 8901 respondents from the National Education Longitudinal Study who were first surveyed as eighth graders in 1988 and last surveyed 12 years later and who were working and not attending school at the time of the last survey. The study finds that social class background has a powerful effect on college completion. The odds of completing college for a student from a high SES background are more than six times higher than for a student from a lower social class background, even when controlling for other predictors such as test scores, grades, and college expectations. The effect of social class background on young adult earnings is more modest, but consistent with other studies. In both cases, the relationship varies widely among gender and racial and ethnic groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Rumberger, Russell W., 2010. "Education and the reproduction of economic inequality in the United States: An empirical investigation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 246-254, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:246-254
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tansel, Aysit, 2011. "Intergenerational educational mobility in Turkey," MPRA Paper 68435, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Arvate, Paulo Roberto & Zoghbi, Ana Carolina Pereira, 2010. "Intergenerational conflict and public education expenditure when there is co-residence between the elderly and young," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1165-1175, December.
    3. Bowden, Mark P. & Doughney, James, 2012. "The importance of cultural and economic influences behind the decision to attend higher education," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 95-103.
    4. Silles, Mary A., 2011. "The intergenerational effects of parental schooling on the cognitive and non-cognitive development of children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 258-268, April.
    5. David Fairbrother & Renuka Mahadevan, 2016. "Do Education and Sex Matter for Intergenerational Earnings Mobility? Some Evidence from Australia," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 212-226, September.
    6. repec:spr:soinre:v:136:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1528-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:kap:porgrv:v:18:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11115-016-0367-x is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Herbst, Mikolaj & Rok, Jakub, 2011. "Equity in an educational boom: Lessons from the expansion and marketization of tertiary schooling in Poland," MPRA Paper 33795, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Keywords

    Inequaltiy Education and work;

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