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Chile’s Missing Students: Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility

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  • Bautista, María Angélica
  • González, Felipe
  • Martínez, Luis
  • Muñoz, Pablo
  • Prem, Mounu

Abstract

Hostile policies towards higher education are a prominent feature of authoritarian regimes. We study the capture of higher education by the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile following the 1973 coup. We find three main results: (i) cohorts that reached college age shortly after the coup experienced a large drop in college enrollment as a result of the systematic reduction in the number of openings for incoming students decreed by the regime; (ii) these cohorts had worse economic outcomes throughout the life cycle and struggled to climb up the socioeconomic ladder, especially women; (iii) children with parents in the affected cohorts also have a substantially lower probability of college enrollment. These results demonstrate that the political capture of higher education in non-democracies hinders social mobility and leads to a persistent reduction in human capital accumulation, even after democratization.

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  • Bautista, María Angélica & González, Felipe & Martínez, Luis & Muñoz, Pablo & Prem, Mounu, 2020. "Chile’s Missing Students: Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility," Working papers 42, Red Investigadores de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:rie:riecdt:42
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    1. Bautista, María Angélica & González, Felipe & Martinez, Luis R. & Muñoz, Pablo & Prem, Mounu, 2020. "Does Higher Education Reduce Mortality? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Chile," SocArXiv 5s2px, Center for Open Science.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Marlon Seror & David Y. Yang & Yang You & Weihong Zeng, 2020. "Persistence through Revolutions," Working Papers DT/2020/09, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dictatorship; Higher education; Social mobility; Intergenerational transmission;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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