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Sorting and Private Education in Italy

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  • Bertola, Giuseppe
  • Checchi, Daniele

Abstract

This Paper discusses reforms of Italian secondary schools’ curriculum and funding in light of theoretical considerations, of the experience of other countries, and of empirical evidence. We briefly review socio-economic views on the schooling system’s role in shaping the social structure and productive potential of new generations. The current structure of the Italian secondary school system lets the student population sort itself, on the basis of individuals’ financial and cultural background, along both vocational versus comprehensive and public versus private dimensions. We characterize the outcome of this sorting, and its relationship to further educational experience, with a statistical analysis of a sample of University students. Not surprisingly, we find that in Italy Catholic private schools play a different role from that of their American counterparts, which have been found to improve the performance of relatively poor students. Italian confessional and other private schools appear to cater to the needs of relatively less talented students from relatively rich family backgrounds.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertola, Giuseppe & Checchi, Daniele, 2002. "Sorting and Private Education in Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3198
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. G. Boero & A. Mcknight & R. Naylor & J. Smith, 2001. "Graduates and graduate labour markets in the UK and Italy," Working Paper CRENoS 200111, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    2. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2001. "Public Education and the Melting Pot," CEPR Discussion Papers 2924, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Rubinstein, Y. & Tsiddon, D., 1998. "Coping with Technological Progress: the Role of Ability in Making Inequality so Persistent," Papers 27-98, Tel Aviv.
    5. William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-974.
    6. Raquel Fernández & Jordi Gali, 1999. "To Each According to …? Markets, Tournaments, and the Matching Problem with Borrowing Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 799-824.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brunello, Giorgio & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2004. "Diploma No Problem: Can Private Schools Be of Lower Quality than Public Schools?," IZA Discussion Papers 1336, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Checchi, 2004. "School Vouchers Italian Style," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(3-4), pages 357-399, December.
    3. Daniele CHECCHI & Gabriella PRAVETTONI, 2003. "Self-esteem and educational attainment," Departmental Working Papers 2003-30, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    4. Lorenzo Cappellari, 2004. "High school types, academic performance and early labour market outcomes," CHILD Working Papers wp03_04, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    5. Giorgio Pietro, 2013. "Military conscription and university enrolment: evidence from Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 619-644, April.
    6. Giorgio Brunello & Lorenzo Rocco, 2008. "Educational Standards in Private and Public Schools," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(533), pages 1866-1887, November.
    7. Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora & Dario Pozzoli, 2012. "Determinants of grades in maths for students in economics," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 1-17, February.
    8. Paolo Buonanno & Dario Pozzoli, 2007. "Risk Aversion and College Subject," Working Papers (-2012) 0707, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
    9. Daniele Checchi, 2003. "The Italian educational system: family background and social stratification," Departmental Working Papers 2003-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education quality; education reform;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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