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Selective schooling systems increase inequality

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  • Simon Burgess
  • Matt Dickson

Abstract

We investigate the impact on earnings inequality of a selective education system in which school assignment is based on initial test scores. We use a large, representative household panel survey to compare adult earnings inequality of those growing up under a selective education system with those educated under a comprehensive system. Controlling for a range of background characteristics and the current location, the wage distribution for individuals who grew up in selective schooling areas is quantitatively and statistically significantly more unequal. The total effect sizes are large: 14% of the raw 90-10 earnings gap and 18% of the conditional 90-10 earnings gap can be explained by differences across schooling systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Burgess & Matt Dickson, 2014. "Selective schooling systems increase inequality," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 14/323, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:14/323
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    File URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2014/wp323.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Simon Burgess & Matt Dickson & Lindsey Macmillan, 2020. "Do selective schooling systems increase inequality?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-24.
    2. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Alan Manning, 2006. "Comprehensive versus Selective Schooling in England in Wales: What Do We Know?," NBER Working Papers 12176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr., 2011. "Exam High Schools and Academic Achievement: Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 17286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2013. "Valuing school quality using boundary discontinuity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 45246, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Gibbons, Stephen & Machin, Stephen & Silva, Olmo, 2013. "Valuing school quality using boundary discontinuities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 15-28.
    6. Clark, Damon & Del Bono, Emilia, 2014. "The long-run effects of attending an elite school: evidence from the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    7. Clark Damon, 2010. "Selective Schools and Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-40, February.
    8. Adele Atkinson & Paul Gregg & Brendon McConnell, 2006. "The Result of 11 Plus Selection: An Investigation into Opportunities and Outcomes for Pupils in Selective LEAs," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 06/150, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    9. Helen Slater & Neil M. Davies & Simon Burgess, 2012. "Do Teachers Matter? Measuring the Variation in Teacher Effectiveness in England," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(5), pages 629-645, October.
    10. Christian Dustmann & Patrick A. Puhani & Uta Schönberg, 2017. "The Long‐term Effects of Early Track Choice," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(603), pages 1348-1380, August.
    11. Nina Guyon & Eric Maurin & Sandra McNally, 2012. "The Effect of Tracking Students by Ability into Different Schools: A Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 684-721.
    12. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando & Vignoles, Anna, 2004. "The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability," IZA Discussion Papers 1245, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Rebecca Allen & Simon Burgess & Tomas Key, 2010. "Choosing secondary school by moving house: school quality and the formation of neighbourhoods," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/238, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    14. Hart, Robert A & Moro, Mirko & Roberts, J Elizabeth, 2012. "Date of birth, family background, and the 11 plus exam: short- and long-term consequences of the 1944 secondary education reforms in England and W ales," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2012-10, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    15. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua Angrist & Parag Pathak, 2014. "The Elite Illusion: Achievement Effects at Boston and New York Exam Schools," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 137-196, January.
    16. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/323 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. David Jesson, "undated". "The Comparative Evaluation of GCSE Value-Added Performance by Type of School and LEA," Discussion Papers 00/52, Department of Economics, University of York.
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    1. Simon Burgess & Matt Dickson & Lindsey Macmillan, 2020. "Do selective schooling systems increase inequality?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-24.
    2. Matt Dickson & Lindsey Macmilllan, 2020. "Inequality in access to grammar schools," CEPEO Briefing Note Series 3, Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, revised Apr 2020.
    3. Esser, Hartmut & Relikowski, Ilona, 2015. "Is Ability Tracking (Really) Responsible for Educational Inequalities in Achievement? A Comparison between the Country States Bavaria and Hesse in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 9082, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Hart, Robert A. & Moro, Mirko, 2017. "Date of Birth and Selective Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 10949, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Basu, Anirban & Jones, Andrew M. & Dias, Pedro Rosa, 2018. "Heterogeneity in the impact of type of schooling on adult health and lifestyle," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-14.
    6. Burgess, Simon, 2016. "Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9885, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    selective schooling; inequality; wages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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