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Public Education and the Melting Pot

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  • Gradstein, Mark
  • Justman, Moshe

Abstract

This Paper proposes a theoretical framework that combines the role of education as a cultural melting pot with its function as an instrument of human capital accumulation. It highlights the important role of public education in promoting social cohesion: requiring minority parents to pay twice for culturally distinct private education is a powerful incentive for cultural assimilation through public education. Conversely, subsidizing private schooling through vouchers or tax credits increases social polarization, which may partly explain the strong opposition to voucher experiments. Public education is especially effective in promoting the cultural assimilation of poorer immigrants, but may not be effective in dealing with large numbers of high-income immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2001. "Public Education and the Melting Pot," CEPR Discussion Papers 2924, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2924
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniele Checchi & Giuseppe Bertola, 2001. "Sorting and private education in Italy," Departmental Working Papers 2001-21, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    2. Davide, DOTTORI & I-Ling, SHEN, 2008. "Low-Skilled Immigration and th Expansion of Private Schools," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2008023, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    3. Daniele Checchi & Tullio Jappelli, 2002. "School choice and quality," Departmental Working Papers 2002-28, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    4. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2005. "The melting pot and school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 871-896, June.
    5. Benedikt Langner, 2005. "Bildungsreform und Werteerziehung: Eine ökonomische Betrachtung," Otto-Wolff-Institut Discussion Paper Series 03/2005, Otto-Wolff-Institut für Wirtschaftsordnung, Köln, Deutschland.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cultural assimilation; education vouchers; public education;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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