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Education and social mobility

  • CREMER, Helmuth
  • DE DONDER, Philippe
  • PESTIEAU, Pierre

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.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number 2248.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2248
Note: In : International Tax and Public Finance, 17(4), 357-377, 2010
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  1. De Fraja, Gianni, 1998. "The Design of Optimal Education Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1792, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIAU, Pierre & RACIONERO, Maria, 2007. "Unequal wages for equal utilities," CORE Discussion Papers 2007095, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Peter Gottschalk & Enrico Spolaore, 2002. "On the Evaluation of Economic Mobility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 191-208.
  4. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "The Role of School Improvement in Economic Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 1911, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Darío Maldonado, 2008. "Education policies and optimal taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 131-143, April.
  6. Bovenberg, A.L. & Jacobs, B., 2001. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Discussion Paper 2001-82, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. repec:bla:restud:v:49:y:1982:i:2:p:183-201 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. A. Lans Bovenberg & Bas Jacobs, 2005. "Redistribution and Education Subsidies are Siamese Twins," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-036/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. Herschel I. Grossman & Minseong Kim, 2003. "Educational Policy: Egalitarian or Elitist?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 225-246, November.
  10. Daniel Mejía & Marc St-Pierre, 2006. "Unequal Opportunities and Human Capital Formation," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003737, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  11. Bruno, Michael, 1976. "Equality, complementarity and the incidence of public expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 395-407, November.
  12. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:85:y:1971:i:3:p:409-15 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Ulph, David, 1977. "On the optimal distribution of income and educational expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 341-356, December.
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