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Education and Social Mobility

Author

Listed:
  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Philippe De Donder
  • Pierre Pestieau

Abstract

This paper shows that the design of education policy involves a potential conflict between welfare and social mobility. We consider a setting in which social mobility is maximized under the least elitist public education system, whereas welfare maximization calls for the most elitist system. We show that when private education is available, the degree of elitism that maximizes social mobility increases, while the welfare-maximizing degree of elitism decreases. The ranking between the welfare- and mobility-maximizing degree of elitism may even be reversed. Utilitarian welfare is always higher when private supplementary education is available, but social mobility may be reduced.

Suggested Citation

  • Helmuth Cremer & Philippe De Donder & Pierre Pestieau, 2010. "Education and Social Mobility," CESifo Working Paper Series 2951, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2951
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2951.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter Gottschalk & Enrico Spolaore, 2002. "On the Evaluation of Economic Mobility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 191-208.
    2. Ulph, David, 1977. "On the optimal distribution of income and educational expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 341-356, December.
    3. Gianni de Fraja, 2002. "The Design of Optimal Education Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 437-466.
    4. Biagio Speciale, 2012. "Are educational policies elitist?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 439-463, July.
    5. Bruno, Michael, 1976. "Equality, complementarity and the incidence of public expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 395-407, November.
    6. A. B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201.
    7. A. Lans Bovenberg & Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Lans Bovenberg, A. & Jacobs, Bas, 2005. "Redistribution and education subsidies are Siamese twins," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2005-2035, December.
    9. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "The Role of School Improvement in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 12832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau & Maria Racionero, 2011. "Unequal wages for equal utilities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(4), pages 383-398, August.
    11. Herschel I. Grossman & Minseong Kim, 2003. "Educational Policy: Egalitarian or Elitist?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 225-246, November.
    12. Mejia, Daniel & St-Pierre, Marc, 2008. "Unequal opportunities and human capital formation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 395-413, June.
    13. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1971. "A Utilitarian Approach to the Concept of Equality in Public Expenditures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(3), pages 409-415.
    14. Darío Maldonado, 2008. "Education policies and optimal taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(2), pages 131-143, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yuki Uchida, 2015. "Education, Social Mobility, and Talent Mismatch," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 15-21, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    2. Jennings, Colin, 2015. "Collective choice and individual action: Education policy and social mobility in England," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PB), pages 288-297.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    elitism; egalitarianism; private education;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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