IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Educational Systems, Intergenerational Mobility and Social Segmentation

  • Nathalie Chusseau
  • Joël Hellier

We show that the very characteristics of educational systems generate social segmentation. A stylised educational framework is constructed in which everyone receives a compulsory basic education and can subsequently choose between direct working, vocational studies and university. There is a selection for entering the university which consists of a minimum human capital level at the end of basic education. In the model, an individual's human capital depends (i) on her/his parents' human capital, (ii) on her/his schooling time, and (iii) on public expenditure for education. There are three education functions corresponding to each type of study (basic, vocational, university). Divergences in total educational expenditure, in its distribution between the three studies and in the selection severity, combined with the initial distribution of human capital across individuals, can result in very different social segmentations and generate under education traps (situations in which certain dynasties remain unskilled from generation to generation) at the steady state. We finally implement a series of simulations that illustrate these findings in the cases of egalitarian and elitist educational systems. Assuming the same initial distribution of human capital between individuals, we find that the first system results in two-segment stratification, quasi income equality and no under education trap whereas the elitist system generates three segments, significant inequality and a large under education trap

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Cattaneo University (LIUC) in its journal The European Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 203-233

in new window

Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:8:y:2011:i:2:p:203-233
Contact details of provider: Postal: Corso Matteotti 22 - Castellanza (VA) 21053
Phone: +39 (0)331-572 1
Fax: +39 (0)331-572 320
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Vicky Barham & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau, 1991. "Education and Poverty Trap," Working Papers 830, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Mausumi Das, 2008. "Persistent Inequality: An Explanation Based on Limited Parental Altruism," Working Papers id:1676, eSocialSciences.
  3. Driskill, Robert A & Horowitz, Andrew W, 2002. "Investment in Hierarchical Human Capital," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 48-58, February.
  4. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  5. Galor, Oded & Tsiddon, Daniel, 1997. " The Distribution of Human Capital and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 93-124, March.
  6. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1998. "The Evolution of Modern Educational Systems: Technical Vs. General Education, Distributional Conflict and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1925, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:8:y:2011:i:2:p:203-233. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Piero Cavaleri)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.