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Educational Systems, Intergenerational Mobility and Social Segmentation

Author

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  • Nathalie Chusseau
  • Joël Hellier

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Nathalie Chusseau & Joël Hellier, 2011. "Educational Systems, Intergenerational Mobility and Social Segmentation," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 8(2), pages 203-233, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:8:y:2011:i:2:p:203-233
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Vicky Barham & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau, 1991. "Education and Poverty Trap," Working Papers 830, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    4. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 2004. "The evolution of modern educational systems: Technical vs. general education, distributional conflict, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 559-582, April.
    5. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    6. Das, Mausumi, 2007. "Persistent inequality: An explanation based on limited parental altruism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 251-270, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ben-Halima, B. & Chusseau, N. & Hellier, J., 2014. "Skill premia and intergenerational education mobility: The French case," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 50-64.
    2. Elise S. Brezis & Joel Hellier, 2013. "Social mobility at the top: Why are elites self-reproducing?," Working Papers 312, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. repec:eee:poleco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:36-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Joël Hellier & Stéphane Lambrecht, 2012. "Inequality, growth and welfare: The main links," Working Papers 258, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    5. Hellier, Joël, 2017. "Stratified higher education,social mobility at the top and efficiency: The case of the French ‘Grandes écoles’," MPRA Paper 76724, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Nathalie Chusseau & Joel Hellier, 2014. "Globalization and social segmentation," Working Papers 339, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    7. Nathalie Chusseau & Joel Hellier, 2012. "Education, Intergenerational Mobility and Inequality," Working Papers 261, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    8. Elise S. Brezis & Joël Hellier, 2017. "Social Mobility at the Top and the Higher Education System," Working Papers 2017-04, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    9. Elisa S. Brezis & Joel Hellier, 2016. "Social Mobility and Higher-Education Policy," Working Papers 095, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational systems; intergenerational mobility; social segmentation; under-education trap;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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