IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Opportunities in Higher Education: An Application in France


  • Magali Jaoul-Grammare
  • Brice Magdalou


This paper first sets out criteria to evaluate the inequality of opportunity in higher education. We propose a two-level classification, by distinguishing the categorial and the counterfactual approaches. For each approach, we consider dominance quasi-orderings and inequality measures. We then apply these criteria to the French higher education system, by comparing the situation in 1992 and 2004. Our main findings reveal that: (i) there is inequality of opportunity in each of the two years; (ii) even if we cannot say that the situation was unambiguously better in 1992, we can nevertheless state that the inequality of opportunity haven’t decreased significantly in the meantime.

Suggested Citation

  • Magali Jaoul-Grammare & Brice Magdalou, 2013. "Opportunities in Higher Education: An Application in France," Working Papers 13-05, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Mar 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:13-05

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2013
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bossert W., 1996. "Redistribution mechanisms based on individual characteristics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-51, February.
    2. Magdalou, Brice & Nock, Richard, 2011. "Income distributions and decomposable divergence measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2440-2454.
    3. Steve Machin & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "Educational inequality: the widening socio-economic gap," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 107-128, June.
    4. Daniele Checchi & Vito Peragine, 2010. "Inequality of opportunity in Italy," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(4), pages 429-450, December.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1552 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Heineck Guido & Riphahn Regina T., 2009. "Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment in Germany – The Last Five Decades," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(1), pages 36-60, February.
    7. Frank A. Cowell, 1985. "Measures of Distributional Change: An Axiomatic Approach," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(1), pages 135-151.
    8. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Marta Menéndez, 2007. "Inequality Of Opportunity In Brazil," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(4), pages 585-618, December.
    9. Lefranc, Arnaud & Pistolesi, Nicolas & Trannoy, Alain, 2009. "Equality of opportunity and luck: Definitions and testable conditions, with an application to income in France," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1189-1207, December.
    10. Almås, Ingvild & Cappelen, Alexander W. & Lind, Jo Thori & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2011. "Measuring unfair (in)equality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 488-499.
    11. Beach, Charles M. & Chow, K. Victor & Formby, John P. & Slotsve, George A., 1994. "Statistical inference for decile means," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 161-167, June.
    12. Magdalou, Brice & Moyes, Patrick, 2012. "The absence of deprivation as a measure of social well-being: An empirical investigation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 75-79.
    13. Marc Fleurbaey & Walter Bossert, 1996. "Redistribution and compensation (*)," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 13(3), pages 343-355.
    14. Erwin Ooghe & Erik Schokkaert & Dirk gaer, 2007. "Equality of Opportunity versus Equality of Opportunity Sets," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(2), pages 209-230, February.
    15. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Ludger Wößmann, 2008. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 279-308, May.
    16. Peragine, Vito & Serlenga, Laura, 2007. "Higher Education and Equality of Opportunity in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 3163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Waltenberg, Fabio D. & Vandenberghe, Vincent, 2007. "What does it take to achieve equality of opportunity in education?: An empirical investigation based on Brazilian data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 709-723, December.
    18. Claude Thélot & Louis-André Vallet, 2000. "La réduction des inégalités sociales devant l'école depuis le début du siècle," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 334(1), pages 3-32.
    19. Magali Jaoul-Grammare, 2007. "Social attributes, equity and higher educative path. Microeconometric study of a discrete choice model with logistic regression," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 287-291.
    20. Vito Peragine, 2004. "Measuring and implementing equality of opportunity for income," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 22(1), pages 187-210, February.
    21. Kurt Devooght, 2008. "To Each the Same and to Each his Own: A Proposal to Measure Responsibility-Sensitive Income Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 280-295, May.
    22. Foster, James E. & Shneyerov, Artyom A., 2000. "Path Independent Inequality Measures," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 199-222, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:13-05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Patricia Modat). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.