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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 degrees 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 & International Institute of Public Finance 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
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  1. A. B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201.
  2. Marc St-Pierre & Daniel Mejia, 2004. "Unequal opportunities and human capital formation," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 188, Econometric Society.
  3. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & RACIONERO, Mario, . "Unequal wages for equal utilities," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2369, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Darío Maldonado, 2008. "Education policies and optimal taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 131-143, April.
  5. Bovenberg, A Lans & Jacobs, Bas, 2001. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," CEPR Discussion Papers 3099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. A. Lans Bovenberg & Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Peter Gottschalk & Enrico Spolaore, 1998. "On the Evaluation of Economic Mobility," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 407., Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Herschel I. Grossman & Minseong Kim, 2003. "Educational Policy: Egalitarian or Elitist?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 225-246, November.
  9. De Fraja, Gianni, 1998. "The Design of Optimal Education Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1971. "A Utilitarian Approach to the Concept of Equality in Public Expenditures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 409-415.
  11. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "The Role of School Improvement in Economic Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 1911, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Ulph, David, 1977. "On the optimal distribution of income and educational expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 341-356, December.
  13. Bruno, Michael, 1976. "Equality, complementarity and the incidence of public expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 395-407, November.
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