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Selective Schooling Systems Increase Inequality

  • Simon Burgess


    (Department of Economics, University of Bristol)

  • Matt Dickson


    (Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath)

  • Lindsey Macmillan


    (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education)

We investigate the impact on earnings inequality of a selective education system in which school assignment is based on initial test scores. We use a large, representative household panel survey to compare adult earnings inequality of those growing up under a selective education system with those educated under a comprehensive system. Controlling for a range of background characteristics and the current location, the wage distribution for individuals who grew up in selective schooling areas is quantitatively and statistically significantly more unequal. The total effect sizes are large: 14% of the raw 90-10 earnings gap and 18% of the conditional 90-10 earnings gap can be explained by differences across schooling systems

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Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 14-09.

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Date of creation: 28 May 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1409
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  1. Hart, Robert A & Moro, Mirko & Roberts, J Elizabeth, 2012. "Date of birth, family background, and the 11 plus exam: short- and long-term consequences of the 1944 secondary education reforms in England and W ales," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2012-10, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  2. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr., 2011. "Exam High Schools and Academic Achievement: Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 17286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nina Guyon & Eric Maurin & Sandra McNally, 2012. "The Effect of Tracking Students by Ability into Different Schools: A Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 684-721.
  4. Rebecca Allen & Simon Burgess & Tomas Key, 2010. "Choosing secondary school by moving house: school quality and the formation of neighbourhoods," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/238, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  5. Atila Abdulkadiroğlu & Joshua Angrist & Parag Pathak, 2014. "The Elite Illusion: Achievement Effects at Boston and New York Exam Schools," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(1), pages 137-196, 01.
  6. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2005. "The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability," CEE Discussion Papers 0052, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  7. repec:ese:iserwp:2014-05 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Clark Damon, 2010. "Selective Schools and Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-40, February.
  9. David Jesson, . "The Comparative Evaluation of GCSE Value-Added Performance by Type of School and LEA," Discussion Papers 00/52, Department of Economics, University of York.
  10. Dustmann, Christian & Puhani, Patrick A. & Schönberg, Uta, 2014. "The Long-Term Effects of Early Track Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 7897, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Clark, Damon & Del Bono, Emilia, 2014. "The Long-Run Effects of Attending an Elite School: Evidence from the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 8617, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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