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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Benfratello & Giuseppe Sorrenti & Gilberto Turati, 2013. "Tracking in the Tracks Understanding Inequality Patterns in the Italian Public Schooling System," CHILD Working Papers Series 19, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wchild:19

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    Cited by:

    1. Giambona, Francesca & Porcu, Mariano, 2015. "Student background determinants of reading achievement in Italy. A quantile regression analysis," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 95-107.

    More about this item


    public schools; educational inequalities; school stratification; school tracking;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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