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Education policy and equality of opportunity

  • Schütz, Gabriela
  • Ursprung, Heinrich W.
  • Wößmann, Ludger

We provide a measure of equality of educational opportunity in 54 countries, estimated as the effect of family background on student performance in two international TIMSS tests. Using cross-country variation in education policies and its interaction with family background at the student level, we then estimate how equality is related to organizational features of the education system. We find that equality of opportunity is positively related to late tracking into different school types and to longer pre-school education. Pre-school enrollment has an inverted U-shaped relationship with equality. Equality is negatively related to private school financing, but positively to private provision.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19901.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Kyklos 2 61(2008): pp. 279-308
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19901
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Web page: http://www.vwl.uni-muenchen.de

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  1. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wössmann, 2006. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences- in-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C63-C76, 03.
  2. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "Poverty and worklessness in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20038, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 1162, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "What Accounts for International Differences in Student Performance? A Re-examination using PISA Data," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 274, Econometric Society.
  5. Magnuson, Katherine A. & Ruhm, Christopher & Waldfogel, Jane, 2007. "Does prekindergarten improve school preparation and performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-51, February.
  6. Ganzeboom, H.B.G. & de Graaf, P.M. & Treiman, D.J. & de Leeuw, J., 1992. "A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status," WORC Paper 85970031-d601-46e3-befb-1, Tilburg University, Work and Organization Research Centre.
  7. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Figlio, David N. & Page, Marianne E., 2002. "School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Inequality?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 497-514, May.
  9. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  10. L Feinstein & Donald Robertson & James Symons, 1998. "Pre-School Education and Attainment in the NCDS and BCS," CEP Discussion Papers dp0382, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2001. "Asymptotic Properties Of Weighted M-Estimators For Standard Stratified Samples," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 451-470, April.
  12. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  13. Garces, E. & Thomas, D. & Currie, J., 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," Papers 00-20, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  14. Chiswick, Barry R. & DebBurman, Noyna, 2004. "Pre-School Enrollment: An Analysis by Immigrant Generation," IZA Discussion Papers 1226, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Epple, Dennis & Newlon, Elizabeth & Romano, Richard, 2002. "Ability tracking, school competition, and the distribution of educational benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-48, January.
  16. Anderson, Patricia M, 1993. "Linear Adjustment Costs and Seasonal Labor Demand: Evidence from Retail Trade Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1015-42, November.
  17. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2006. "Does educational tracking affect performance and inequality? differences-in-differences evidence across countries," Munich Reprints in Economics 20457, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  18. Fuchs, Thomas & Wößmann, Ludger, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Munich Reprints in Economics 20303, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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