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Tracking can be more equitable than mixing: peer effects and college attendance

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  • Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo

    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

Abstract

Parents and policy makers often wonder whether, and how, the choice between a tracked or a mixed educational system affects the efficiency and equity of national educational outcomes. This paper analyzes this question taking into account their impact on educational results at later stages and two main results are found. First, it shows that tracking can be the efficient system in societies where the opportunity cost of college attendance is high or the pre-school achievement distribution is very dispersed. Second, this paper shows that although conventional wisdom suggests that equality of opportunities is best guaranteed under mixing, this is not necessarily the case. In fact, tracking is the most equitable system for students with intermediate levels of human capital required to attend college..

Suggested Citation

  • Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo, 2009. "Tracking can be more equitable than mixing: peer effects and college attendance," Working Papers 09.04, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:09.04
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Peer Effects; Tracking; Mixing; College attendance gap.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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