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Fair and unfair educational inequality in a developing country: The role of pupil’s effort

Author

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  • Niaz Asadullah

    (University of Malaya, Malaysia)

  • Alain Trannoy

    (Aix-Marseille University (AMSE), CNRS and EHESS, France)

  • Sandy Tubeuf

    (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium)

  • Gaston Yalonetzky

    (University of Leeds, UK)

Abstract

Inequality of opportunity builds upon the distinction between fair inequality related to responsibility variables and unfair inequality related to circumstances. This distinction is meaningful as long as responsibility variables are not fully determined by circumstances. We attempt to check the magnitude of the correlation between child effort and family background when measuring inequalities of opportunity in education using a purposefully designed survey on secondary-school education in rural Bangladesh. The analysis comprises decomposition exercises of the predicted variance of school performance in mathematics and English by source and subgroup based on parametric estimates of educational production functions. Pupils’ effort, preferences, and talents contribute between a third and 40\% of the total predicted variances in performance scores. The correlation between overall effort and circumstances does not matter much since the contribution of overall effort only falls by 10\% when the correlation is taken into account. All in all, these results cast doubt on the common practice of reducing education to a circumstance when estimating inequality of opportunity in income attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Niaz Asadullah & Alain Trannoy & Sandy Tubeuf & Gaston Yalonetzky, 2018. "Fair and unfair educational inequality in a developing country: The role of pupil’s effort," Working Papers 474, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2018-474
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    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2018-474.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. José María Rentería, 2019. "Inequality of educational opportunity and time-varying circumstances: Longitudinal evidence from Peru," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-02372538, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality of opportunity; education; effort; decomposition; school.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C01 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Econometrics
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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