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Equality of opportunity in educational achievement in the Middle East and North Africa

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  • Djavad Salehi-Isfahani

    ()

  • Nadia Hassine
  • Ragui Assaad

Abstract

This paper is an empirical investigation of inequality of education opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). We use student scores from tests administered by the international consortium Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) for a number of MENA countries and over time since 1999 to estimate the effect of circumstances children are born into on their academic achievement in science and mathematics. We find that inequality of opportunities explains a significant part of the inequality in educational achievements in most MENA countries, but there is ample heterogeneity. Family background variables are the most important determinants of inequality in achievement, followed by community characteristics. The results show that, despite great efforts in past decades to invest in free public education, most MENA countries are less opportunity equal in educational achievement than European countries, and several are less so than Latin America and the United States. From the variation in inequality of education opportunities across countries and over time we draw lessons on the influence of different education systems or changes in policy on equality of opportunity. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Djavad Salehi-Isfahani & Nadia Hassine & Ragui Assaad, 2014. "Equality of opportunity in educational achievement in the Middle East and North Africa," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(4), pages 489-515, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:12:y:2014:i:4:p:489-515
    DOI: 10.1007/s10888-013-9263-6
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Caroline Krafft & Ragui Assaad, 2015. "Inequality of Opportunity in the Labor Market for Higher Education Graduates in Egypt and Jordan," Working Papers 932, Economic Research Forum, revised Aug 2015.
    2. repec:bla:afrdev:v:29:y:2017:i:4:p:660-673 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Assaad, Ragui & Krafft, Caroline, 2015. "Is free basic education in Egypt a reality or a myth?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 16-30.
    4. Driouchi, Ahmed & Harkat, Tahar, 2017. "An Empirical Descriptive Analysis of the Factors underlying the Role of Younger Generations in Economic, Social & Political Changes in Arab Countries," MPRA Paper 77216, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Shahid Yusuf, 2014. "Middle East Transitions; A Long, Hard Road," IMF Working Papers 14/135, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Krafft, Caroline & Alawode, Halimat, 2018. "Inequality of opportunity in higher education in the Middle East and North Africa," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 234-244.
    7. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, 2013. "Rethinking Human Development in the Middle East and North Africa: The Missing Dimensions," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 341-370, August.
    8. Driouchi, Ahmed & Harkat, Tahar, 2016. "Macroeconomic and School Variables to Reveal Country Choices of General and Vocational Education: A Cross-Country Analysis with focus on Arab Economies," MPRA Paper 73455, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Sanaz Fesharaki & Mahdi Majbouri, 2016. "Iran's multi-ethnic mosaic," WIDER Working Paper Series 117, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Luongo Patrizia, 2015. "Inequality of Opportunity in Educational Achievements: Cross-country and Intertemporal Comparisons," WIDER Working Paper Series 043, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Ragui Assaad & Caroline Krafft & John Roemer & Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, 2016. "Inequality of Opportunity in Income and Consumption in Egypt," Working Papers 1002, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2016.
    12. Driouchi, Ahmed & Gamar, Alae, 2016. "The Gap between Educational & Social Intergenerational Mobility in Arab Countries," MPRA Paper 73998, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Equality of opportunity; Education; Middle East and North Africa; D63; I24; O15; O53;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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