Deregulation of education: What does it mean for efficiency and equality?
This article analyses from a cross-national comparative perspective how deregulation of compulsory education affects two central educational outcomes: efficiency and equality. The conflict between public regulation on the one hand and the market model on the other hand describes one of the most fundamental political struggles. In several fields of societal life, such as compulsory education, the state traditionally holds a strong monopoly in almost all capitalist societies. However, using three waves of PISA school level data we show that the degree of public regulation varies cross-nationally. The central finding of our analyses is that deregulation of education increases educational achievement of individual students across all social classes and thereby fosters the educational efficiency of the national education systems. Nevertheless, it also becomes evident that higher social classes benefit more strongly from deregulation, which increases the degree of educational inequality. These results indeed confirm that deregulation of education provokes an efficiency-versus-equality trade-off in national education systems.
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