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Culture and the Family: An Application to Educational Choices in Italy

  • Paola Giuliano


    (UCLA, NBER, and IZA Los Angeles)

In this essay we show that family background is crucial in determining the choice of high school in Italy. It is the choice of high school that then determines subsequent academic performance. The evidence suggests that graduating from a general high school increases the probability of attending university, whereas no effect can be found for family background. The fact that the majority of students with a poor family background tend to go to technical schools, following family suggestions, has an impact in prolonging the low level of educational mobility and leading to a low rate of college graduates in Italy.

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Article provided by SIPI Spa in its journal Rivista di Politica Economica.

Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (July-August)
Pages: 3-38

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Handle: RePEc:rpo:ripoec:v:98:y:2008:i:4:p:3-38
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  1. Paola Giuliano, 2005. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," 2005 Meeting Papers 189, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Checchi, Daniele & Jappelli, Tullio, 2004. "School Choice and Quality," CEPR Discussion Papers 4748, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Antecol, Heather, 2000. "An examination of cross-country differences in the gender gap in labor force participation rates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 409-426, July.
  4. David Figlio & Jens Ludwig, 2012. "Sex, Drugs, and Catholic Schools: Private Schooling and Non-Market Adolescent Behaviors," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(4), pages 385-415, November.
  5. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Schluter, Christian, 2002. "The Effect of Family Income During Childhood on Later-Life Attainment: Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 604, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. David Margolis & Véronique Simonnet, 2003. "Educational Track, Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00365833, HAL.
  7. Brunello, Giorgio & Giannini, Massiomo, 2000. "Stratified or comprehensive? the economic efficiency of school design," ISER Working Paper Series 2000-32, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  8. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
  9. Lorenzo Cappellari, 2004. "The Effects Of High School Choices On Academic Performance And Early Labour Market Outcomes," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 92, Royal Economic Society.
  10. Fernández, Raquel & Fogli, Alessandra, 2005. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work and Fertility," CEPR Discussion Papers 5089, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-974.
  12. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  13. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:115-140 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2010. "The power of the family," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 93-125, June.
  15. Dustmann, Christian, 2001. "Parental Background, Primary to Secondary School Transitions, and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 367, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Neal, Derek, 1997. "The Effects of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 98-123, January.
  17. G. Boero & A. Mcknight & R. Naylor & J. Smith, 2001. "Graduates and graduate labour markets in the UK and Italy," Working Paper CRENoS 200111, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
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