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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. 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.
  2. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The measurement of educational inequality: Achievement and opportunity," Working Papers 240, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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  8. 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).
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  11. Erwin Ooghe & Erik Schokkaert & Dirk Van de Gaer, 2003. "Equality of opportunity versus equality of opportunity sets," Public Economics Working Paper Series wpeoeos, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
  12. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine & Laura Serlenga, 2010. "Fair and unfair income inequalities in Europe," CHILD Working Papers wp06_10, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
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  16. Vito Peragine & Laura Serlenga, 2007. "Higher education and equality of opportunity in Italy," CHILD Working Papers wp01_08, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
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