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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. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2009. "Peer Group Effects on the Academic Performance of Italian Students," MPRA Paper 18428, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Brunello, Giorgio & Checchi, Daniele, 2006. "Does School Tracking Affect Equality of Opportunity? New International Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2348, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1415, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Schütz, Gabriela & Ursprung, Heinrich W. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2008. "Education policy and equality of opportunity," Munich Reprints in Economics 19901, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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..
  7. Steve Gibbons & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2006. "Are Schools Drifting Apart? Intake Stratification in English Secondary Schools," CEE Discussion Papers 0064, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Akerhielm, Karen, 1995. "Does class size matter?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 229-241, September.
  12. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  13. 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.
  14. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity in Italy," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 429-450, December.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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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