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Intergenerationalities: Some Educational Questions on Quality, Quantity and Opportunity

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  • Kanbur, Ravi

Abstract

This paper raises a number of issues in thinking about and addressing the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage. Starting with choice subject to constraints by parents as determining outcomes for children, the paper identifies sequences of interventions to relieve “binding constraints” in the expansion of education. But the fact that parents choose for children is shown to raise a number of questions on normative aspects of inequality measurement. The main conclusions are as follows: (i) A key analytical task is to identify whether education is supply constrained or demand constrained; (ii) The cost-benefit analysis of identifying the “most binding constraint” requires the estimation of an education quality production function; (iii) The recent focus on “quality as opposed to quantity” in education is not self-evidently pro-poor; (iv) The intergenerational links inherent in education between parental choice and children’s outcomes, raise serious conceptual and empirical questions on attempts to separate out inequality of opportunity from inequality of outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Kanbur, Ravi, 2009. "Intergenerationalities: Some Educational Questions on Quality, Quantity and Opportunity," Working Papers 48922, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:48922
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/48922/files/WP%202009-07%20Intergenerationalities.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Orazem, Peter & Glewwe, Paul & Patrinos, Harry, 2007. "The Benefits and Costs of Alternative Strategies to Improve Educational Outcomes," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12853, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jérémie Gignoux, 2011. "The Measurement Of Inequality Of Opportunity: Theory And An Application To Latin America," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(4), pages 622-657, December.
    3. François Bourguignon & Francisco Ferreira & Michael Walton, 2007. "Equity, efficiency and inequality traps: A research agenda," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(2), pages 235-256, August.
    4. Orazem, Peter F. & King, Elizabeth M., 2008. "Schooling in Developing Countries: The Roles of Supply, Demand and Government Policy," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    5. John E. Roemer & Alain Trannoy, 2013. "Equality of Opportunity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1921, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    6. Deininger, Klaus, 2003. "Does cost of schooling affect enrollment by the poor? Universal primary education in Uganda," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 291-305, June.
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    Keywords

    Health Economics and Policy; International Development; Political Economy; Public Economics;

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