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Education and social mobility

  • Helmuth Cremer

    ()

  • Philippe Donder

    ()

  • Pierre Pestieau

    ()

This paper shows that the design of education policy involves a potential conflict between welfare and social mobility. We consider a setting in which social mobility is maximized under the least elitist public education system, whereas welfare maximization calls for the most elitist system. We show that when private education is available, the degree of elitism that maximizes social mobility increases, while the welfare-maximizing degree of elitism decreases. The ranking between the welfare- and mobility-maximizing degree of elitism may even be reversed. Utilitarian welfare is always higher when private supplementary education is available, but social mobility may be reduced.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-010-9133-0
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 357-377

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:17:y:2010:i:4:p:357-377
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

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  1. Ulph, David, 1977. "On the optimal distribution of income and educational expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 341-356, December.
  2. Gianni de Fraja, 2002. "The Design of Optimal Education Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 437-466.
  3. Peter Gottschalk & Enrico Spolaore, 2000. "On the Evaluation of Economic Mobility," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 459, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 09 Apr 2001.
  4. Mejia, Daniel & St-Pierre, Marc, 2008. "Unequal opportunities and human capital formation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 395-413, June.
  5. Bruno, Michael, 1976. "Equality, complementarity and the incidence of public expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 395-407, November.
  6. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2008. "The impact of changing skill levels on optimal nonlinear income taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1765-1771, July.
  7. Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau & Maria Racionero, 2011. "Unequal wages for equal utilities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 383-398, August.
  8. Lans Bovenberg, A. & Jacobs, Bas, 2005. "Redistribution and education subsidies are Siamese twins," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2005-2035, December.
  9. H. I. Grossman & M. Kim, 1999. "Educational Policy: Egalitarian or Elitist?," Working Papers 365, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  10. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1971. "A Utilitarian Approach to the Concept of Equality in Public Expenditure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 409-15, August.
  11. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "The Role of School Improvement in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 12832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. repec:dgr:uvatin:20050036 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Darío Maldonado, 2008. "Education policies and optimal taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 131-143, April.
  14. Atkinson, Anthony B & Bourguignon, Francois, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201, April.
  15. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005036 is not listed on IDEAS
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