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Inequality in Income and Access to Education: A Cross-Country Analysis

  • Chicchi, D.
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    In the current debate on the relationship between inequality in income distribution and growth one of the possible link works through the access to education. After reviewing this debate, a formal model shows how the imperfection of financial markets makes educational choices dependent on the distribution of family incomes. This leads to two testable predictions in the analysis of aggregate data on school enrolments: a negative (linear) relation with the Gini coefficient on incomes distribution; and a positive dependence on public resources invested in education and/or on skill premium in the labour market. These predictions are then tested on a (unbalanced) panel of 102 countries for the period 1960-90. The main findings of this analysis are that, once we control for the degree of development with the (log of) per capita output, financial constraints seem mainly relevant in limiting the access to secondary education. However, when considering gender differences, there is evidence that female participation in education is more strongly conditioned by family wealth, starting from primary education. On the contrary there is no clear evidence of a relevant impact of invested resources, but at the tertiary level

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    Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economics Research in its series Research Paper with number 158.

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    Length: 43 pages
    Date of creation: 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fth:wodeec:158
    Contact details of provider: Postal: United Nations University; World Institute for Development Economics Research, Katajanokanlaituri 6B, 00160 Helsinki
    Phone: +358-9-6159911
    Fax: +358-9-61599333
    Web page: http://www.wider.unu.edu/
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    1. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 73, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
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