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Tracking in the Tracks Understanding Inequality Patterns in the Italian Public Schooling System

  • Luigi Benfratello
  • Giuseppe Sorrenti
  • Gilberto Turati

We study whether – beyond an EU-style tracking separating students in general versus vocational curricula – the Italian highly centralized public schooling is characterized by an implicit US-style tracking system separating students by ability within the same track. We pursue this aim by using administrative data on a standardized admission test at the School of Economics in Turin. We proxy students’ ability with the test score and check whether students across schools within the same track are stratified by ability and household income. Our findings strongly suggest that the inequality patterns common in Italian schooling are affected by both types of tracking.

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Paper provided by Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA in its series CHILD Working Papers Series with number 19.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wchild:19
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  1. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
  2. Krueger, Alan B & Whitmore, Diane M, 2001. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 1-28, January.
  3. Daniele Checchi & Luca Flabbi, 2013. "Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 3, pages 7-57, July-Sept.
  4. Checchi, Daniele & Ichino, Andrea & Rustichini, Aldo, 1999. "More equal but less mobile?: Education financing and intergenerational mobility in Italy and in the US," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 351-393, December.
  5. Stephen Gibbons & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2006. "Are schools drifting apart? Intake stratification in English secondary schools," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19420, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 1, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  7. Daniele Checchi & Giorgio Brunello, 2006. "Does School Tracking Affect Equality of Opportunity? New International Evidence," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1044, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
  8. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard & Sieg, Holger, 2000. "Peer Effects, Financial Aid, and Selection of Students into Colleges and Universities: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 00-02, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  9. Dennis Epple & David Figlio & Richard Romano, 2000. "Competition Between Private and Public Schools: Testing Stratification and Pricing Predictions," NBER Working Papers 7956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari & Silvia Redaelli, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions through Partially Overlapping Peer Groups," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 241-75, April.
  11. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2009. "Peer Group Effects on the Academic Performance of Italian Students," MPRA Paper 18428, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  13. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Ludger Wö�mann, 2008. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 279-308, 05.
  14. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  15. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity in Italy," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 429-450, December.
  16. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:2:p:533-575 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Summers, Anita A & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1977. "Do Schools Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 639-52, September.
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