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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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  7. Schütz, Gabriela & Ursprung, Heinrich W. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," IZA Discussion Papers 1906, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
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  10. Alan Krueger & Diane Whitmore, 1999. "The Effect of Attending a Small Class in the Early Grades on College-Test Taking and Middle School Test Results: Evidence from Project STAR," Working Papers 806, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
  14. Epple, Dennis & Figlio, David & Romano, Richard, 2004. "Competition between private and public schools: testing stratification and pricing predictions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1215-1245, July.
  15. Checchi, Daniele & Flabbi, Luca, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks," IZA Discussion Papers 2876, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity in Italy," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 429-450, December.
  17. 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.
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