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What are the causes of educational inequalities and of their evolution over time in Europe? Evidence from Pisa


  • Veruska Oppedisano

    () (Marie Curie Research Fellow)

  • Gilberto Turati

    () (University of Torino & HERMES)


This paper provides evidence on the sources of differences in inequalities in educational scores in European Union member states, by decomposing them into their determining factors. Using PISA data from the 2000 and 2006 waves, the paper shows that inequalities emerge in all countries and in both period, but decreased in Germany, whilst they increased in France and Italy. Decomposition shows that educational inequalities do not only reflect background related inequality, but especially schools’ characteristics. The findings allow policy makers to target areas that may make a contribution in reducing educational inequalities. However, they appear to exert a remarkable impact on excess spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Veruska Oppedisano & Gilberto Turati, 2011. "What are the causes of educational inequalities and of their evolution over time in Europe? Evidence from Pisa," Working Papers 2011/1, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/3/doc2011-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman, 2004. "Explaining the differences in income-related health inequalities across European countries," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 609-628.
    2. Eddy van Doorslaer & Xander Koolman & Andrew M. Jones, 2004. "Explaining income-related inequalities in doctor utilisation in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 629-647.
    3. Fageda, Xavier, 1975- & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2010. "Technology, business models and network structure in the airline industry," Working Papers 2072/151552, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    4. Daniel Albalate & Germà Bel & Xavier Fageda, 2010. "Is it Redistribution or Centralization? On the Determinants of Government Investment in Infrastructure," Working Papers XREAP2010-15, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Dec 2010.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The evolution of educational inequalities in Europe
      by kevin denny in Kevin Denny: Economics more-or-less on 2011-04-17 16:35:55


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    Cited by:

    1. Ziesemer, Thomas, 2011. "What Changes Gini Coefficients of Education? On the dynamic interaction between education, its distribution and growth," MERIT Working Papers 053, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Freeman R B. & Machin, S. J. & Viarengo, M.G, 2011. "Inequality of Educational Outcomes: International Evidence from PISA," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 11(3).
    3. Gilberto Turati & Daniel Montolio & Massimiliano Piacenza, 2011. "Fiscal decentralisation, private school funding, and students’ achievements. A tale from two roman catholic countries," Working Papers 2011/44, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    4. Catalina Bolancé & Zuhair Bahraoui & Ramon Alemany, 2015. "Estimating extreme value cumulative distribution functions using bias-corrected kernel approaches," Working Papers XREAP2015-01, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jan 2015.
    5. Anna Castañer & Mª Mercè Claramunt, 2014. "Optimal stop-loss reinsurance: a dependence analysis," Working Papers XREAP2014-04, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Apr 2014.
    6. Álvaro Choi & John Jerrim, 2015. "The use (and misuse) of Pisa in guiding policy reform: the case of Spain," Working Papers 2015/6, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    7. Esther-Vayá & José-Ramón-García & Joaquim-Murillo & Javier-Romaní & Jordi-Suriñach, 2016. "“Economic Impact of Cruise Activity: The Port of Barcelona"," IREA Working Papers 201613, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Nov 2016.
    8. Mercedes Ayuso & Montserrat Guillén & Jens Perch Nielsen, 2016. "Improving automobile insurance ratemaking using telematics: incorporating mileage and driver behaviour data," Working Papers XREAP2016-08, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Dec 2016.
    9. Antonio Manresa & Ferran Sancho, 2012. "Leontief versus Ghosh: two faces of the same coin," Working Papers XREAP2012-18, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Oct 2012.
    10. Anna Castañer & Mª Mercè Claramunt & Alba Tadeo & Javier Varea, 2016. "Modelización de la dependencia del número de siniestros. Aplicación a Solvencia II," Working Papers XREAP2016-01, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Sep 2016.

    More about this item


    Education expenditures; educational inequalities; Oaxaca decomposition.;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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