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Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity

Author

Listed:
  • Gabriela Schütz
  • Heinrich Ursprung
  • Ludger Wößmann

    ()

Abstract

We provide a measure of equality of educational opportunity in 54 countries, estimated as the effect of family background on student performance in two international TIMSS tests. We then show how organizational features of the education system affect equality of educational opportunity. Our model predicts that late tracking and a long pre-school cycle are beneficial for equality, while pre-school enrollment is detrimental at low levels of enrollment and beneficial at higher levels. Using cross-country variations in education policies and their interaction with family background at the student level, we provide empirical evidence supportive of these predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich Ursprung & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1518, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1518
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Epple, Dennis & Newlon, Elizabeth & Romano, Richard, 2002. "Ability tracking, school competition, and the distribution of educational benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-48, January.
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    3. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
    4. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wössmann, 2006. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences- in-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages 63-76, March.
    5. Ganzeboom, H.B.G. & de Graaf, P.M. & Treiman, D.J. & de Leeuw, J., 1992. "A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status," WORC Paper 85970031-d601-46e3-befb-1, Tilburg University, Work and Organization Research Centre.
    6. Woessmann, Ludger, 2004. "How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1284, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
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    14. repec:wbk:wbpubs:12425 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Magnuson, Katherine A. & Ruhm, Christopher & Waldfogel, Jane, 2007. "Does prekindergarten improve school preparation and performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-51, February.
    16. Patricia M. Anderson, 1993. "Linear Adjustment Costs and Seasonal Labor Demand: Evidence from Retail Trade Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1015-1042.
    17. L Feinstein & Donald Robertson & James Symons, 1998. "Pre-School Education and Attainment in the NCDS and BCS," CEP Discussion Papers dp0382, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    18. Barry R. Chiswick & Noyna DebBurman, 2004. "Pre-School Enrollment: An Analysis by Immigrant Generation," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0404, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    equality of opportunity; educational production; family background; student performance; tracking; pre-school; efficiency-equity tradeoff;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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