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Equalizing educational opportunity through educational finance reform

Author

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  • John Roemer
  • Julian R. Betts

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

We analyze the reallocations of educational expenditures required to equalize opportunities, according to the theory of Roemer (1998). Using the NLSYM data set, we find that implementing an equal-opportunity policy across men of different races, by using educational finance as the instrument, and holding per capita educational finance fixed, would require spending six to ten times as much on black students, per capita, as on white students. Implementing an equal-opportunity policy across men from different socio-economic backgrounds, but ignoring race, does almost nothing to equalize opportunities for men of different races. Raising the school-leaving age by one year, as opposed to increasing spending per pupil directly, is a relatively inexpensive way of reducing inequality of opportunity across races, but the reduction in opportunity inequality it achieves is very small.

Suggested Citation

  • John Roemer & Julian R. Betts, 2003. "Equalizing educational opportunity through educational finance reform," Working Papers 998, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:99-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kevin Lang & David Kropp, 1986. "Human Capital Versus Sorting: The Effects of Compulsory Attendance Laws," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 609-624.
    2. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arnaud Lefranc & Nicolas Pistolesi & Alain Trannoy, 2006. "Equality of opportunity: Definitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France," Working Papers 53, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. François Bourguignon & Francisco Ferreira & Michael Walton, 2007. "Equity, efficiency and inequality traps: A research agenda," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(2), pages 235-256, August.
    3. Francis Menjo Baye & Boniface Ngah Epo, 2015. "Impact of Human Capital Endowments on Inequality of Outcomes in Cameroon," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(1), pages 93-118, March.
    4. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2007. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Brazil," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 585-618, December.
    5. Checchi, Daniele & Peragine, Vito, 2005. "Regional Disparities and Inequality of Opportunity: The Case of Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Ranking Income Distributions According to Equality of Opportunity," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 2(1), pages 11-30, April.
    7. Donal O'Neill & Olive Sweetman & Dirk van de gaer, 1999. "Equality of Opportunity and Kernel Density Estimation: An Application to Intergenerational Mobility," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n950999, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    8. Ana Abras & Alejandro Hoyos & Ambar Narayan & Sailesh Tiwari, 2013. "Inequality of opportunities in the labor market: evidence from life in transition surveys in Europe and Central Asia," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.
    9. Peragine, Vito & Serlenga, Laura, 2007. "Higher Education and Equality of Opportunity in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 3163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Waltenberg, Fabio D. & Vandenberghe, Vincent, 2007. "What does it take to achieve equality of opportunity in education?: An empirical investigation based on Brazilian data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 709-723, December.
    11. Andrew Jones & John Roemer & Pedro Rosa Dias, 2014. "Equalising opportunities in health through educational policy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(3), pages 521-545, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Equal Opportunity; Educational Finance; School Quality;

    JEL classification:

    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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