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Inequality of opportunity for educational achievement in Latin America: Evidence from PISA 2006–2009

  • Gamboa, Luis Fernando
  • Waltenberg, Fábio D.

We evaluate how far away six Latin American countries stand from a normative goal of equality of opportunity for educational achievement in PISA 2006–2009. We work with alternative characterizations of types: gender, school type (public or private), parental education, and their combinations. Following Checchi–Peragine's (2010) non-parametric method, we find that inequality of opportunity for educational achievement in Latin America ranges from less than 1% to up to 25%, depending on the year, the country, the subject and the specification of circumstances. These magnitudes are substantial with respect to what is found in comparator countries. Parental education and school type prove to be important sources of inequality of opportunity, contrary to gender. By means of sensitivity analyses, while most results show small to moderate variation in terms of magnitudes, in ordinal terms (rankings) they remain quite stable. Brazil stands out as the most opportunity-unequal country of the sample.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 694-708

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:5:p:694-708
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Arnaud LEFRANC & Nicolas PISTOLESI & Alain TRANNOY, 2009. "Equality of opportunity and luck: Definitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France," THEMA Working Papers 2009-01, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  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. Peragine, Vitorocco, 1999. " The Distribution and Redistribution of Opportunity," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 37-69, February.
  4. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity in Italy," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 429-450, December.
  5. E. Ooghe & E. Schokkaert & D. Van De Gaer, 2004. "Equality of opportunity versus equality of opportunity sets," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 04/240, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
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  7. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2008. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199215911, May.
  8. Francois Bourguignon & Francisco H.B. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2005. "Inequality of Opportunity in Brazil," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 133, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Measuring and implementing equality of opportunity for income," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 187-210, 02.
  10. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine & Laura Serlenga, 2010. "Fair and unfair income inequalities in Europe," Working Papers 174, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  11. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Gignoux, Jérémie, 2011. "The Measurement of Educational Inequality: Achievement and Opportunity," IZA Discussion Papers 6161, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Fleurbaey, Marc & Schokkaert, Erik, 2009. "Unfair inequalities in health and health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 73-90, January.
  13. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Inequality of opportunities vs. inequality of outcomes: Are Western societies all alike?," Working Papers 54, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  14. Fleurbaey, Marc, 1995. "Equal Opportunity or Equal Social Outcome?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 25-55, April.
  15. Roemer, John E. & Aaberge, Rolf & Colombino, Ugo & Fritzell, Johan & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Lefranc, Arnaud & Marx, Ive & Page, Marianne & Pommer, Evert & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2003. "To what extent do fiscal regimes equalize opportunities for income acquisition among citizens?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 539-565, March.
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  17. Juan Rodríguez, 2008. "Partial equality-of-opportunity orderings," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 435-456, October.
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  19. Bourguignon, Francois & Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Walton, Michael, 2006. "Equity, Efficient and Inequality Traps: A Research Agenda," Working Paper Series rwp06-025, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  20. Martins, Lurdes & Veiga, Paula, 2010. "Do inequalities in parents' education play an important role in PISA students' mathematics achievement test score disparities?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1016-1033, December.
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  22. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 11-30, April.
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  24. Iatarola, P. & Stiefel, L., 2003. "Intradistrict equity of public education resources and performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 69-78, February.
  25. Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito, 2005. "Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. Bedard, Kelly & Cho, Insook, 2010. "Early gender test score gaps across OECD countries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 348-363, June.
  27. 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].
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