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Evaluating Progress Toward an Equal Opportunity Goal: Assessing the German Educational Reforms of the First Decade of the 21st Century


  • Gordon Anderson
  • Thomas Fruehauf
  • Maria Grazia Pittau
  • Roberto Zelli


The first Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results on language literacy administered in Germany in 2000 shocked the nation bringing about some fundamental reforms in the education system. A e4 billion plan to reform the schooling system involved intensified parent and teacher training, increases in the number of schooling hours and changes in the way student performance was evaluated. By way of measuring the extent of the improvements, this paper proposes and implements new techniques for evaluating the effectiveness of the reforms in the context of a social justice imperative when outcomes before and after their introduction are not cardinally comparable. Fundamental changes in the structure of the dependency of child outcomes on circumstances were detected with some qualified improvements in equality of opportunity over the period.

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  • Gordon Anderson & Thomas Fruehauf & Maria Grazia Pittau & Roberto Zelli, 2015. "Evaluating Progress Toward an Equal Opportunity Goal: Assessing the German Educational Reforms of the First Decade of the 21st Century," Working Papers tecipa-552, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-552

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gordon Anderson & Alessio Farcomeni & Grazia Pittau & Roberto Zelli, 2014. "A new approach to measuring and studying the characteristics of class membership: The progress of poverty, inequality and polarization of income classes in urban China," Working Papers tecipa-521, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    2. Milanovic, Branko & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Decomposing World Income Distribution: Does the World Have a Middle Class?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(2), pages 155-178, June.
    3. Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrea Brandolini, 2011. "On the identification of the “middle class”," Working Papers 217, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    4. Kobus, Martyna & Miłoś, Piotr, 2012. "Inequality decomposition by population subgroups for ordinal data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 15-21.
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    More about this item


    Educational attainment; Equality of opportunity; PISA program;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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