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Class Inequalities in Educational Attainment among the Adult Population in the Republic of Ireland

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher T. Whelan

    (The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • Damian F. Hannan

    (The Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

Abstract

Substantial increases in participation rates at secondary and third level in recent years have often been assumed to be associated with increased equality of opportunity. However, there is little evidence from elsewhere that expansion per se, except when it takes the form of saturation of the demand from higher classes, leads to a reduction in class inequalities. In exploring the factors that contribute to trends over time, or to a distinctive position in comparison with other countries, we have drawn on the recent literature to argue that the crucial factors are those which affect decisions to continue in education. We have also operated on the assumption that students and their parents rationally consider the costs and benefits associated with educational choices. The most recent evidence relating to the adult population provides no support for the existence of any trend towards equality of educational opportunity. It is, rather consistent with the class reproduction perspective that stresses the ability of privileged classes to maintain their advantages.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher T. Whelan & Damian F. Hannan, 1999. "Class Inequalities in Educational Attainment among the Adult Population in the Republic of Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 30(3), pages 285-307.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:30:y:1999:i:3:p:285-307
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    File URL: http://www.esr.ie/vol30_3/5_Whelan.pdf
    File Function: First version, 1999
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    Cited by:

    1. Flannery, Darragh & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2009. "The Determinants of Higher Education Participation in Ireland: A Micro Analysis," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(1), pages 73-107.
    2. Carlos Giovanni González Espitia & Jhon James Mora Rodríguez & Andrés Felipe Cuadros Meñaca, 2014. "Oportunidades educativas y características familiares en Colombia: un análisis por cohortes," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO, June.
    3. Flannery, Darragh & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2009. "Participation in Higher Education: A Random Parameter Logit Approach with Policy Simulations," IZA Discussion Papers 4163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. John Cullinan & Darragh Flannery & Sharon Walsh & Selina Mccoy, 2013. "Distance Effects, Social Class and the Decision to Participate in Higher Education in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(1), pages 19-51.
    5. Francesco Vona, 2011. "Does the Expansion of Higher Education Reduce Educational Inequality? Evidence from 12 European Countries," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-12, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).

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