Tracking Can Be More Equitable than Mixing

18 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2014

Date Written: October 2014


Parents and policy‐makers often wonder whether and how the choice of a tracked or mixed educational system affects the equality of opportunity. I answer this question by analyzing the influence of peers on future educational results. I define an equal opportunity policy as one that maximizes the average lifetime income of the worst‐off type of individuals in society (i.e., students from disadvantaged backgrounds). I find that tracking maximizes average lifetime income if the opportunity cost of college attendance is sufficiently high.

Keywords: College attendance, equality of opportunity, grouping policies, peer effects

JEL Classification: D63, I28, J24

Suggested Citation

Hidalgo-Hidalgo, Maria Luisa, Tracking Can Be More Equitable than Mixing (October 2014). The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 116, Issue 4, pp. 964-981, 2014, Available at SSRN: or

Maria Luisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo (Contact Author)

Universidad de Alicante ( email )

Campus de San Vicente
Carretera San Vicente del Raspeig
San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante 03690

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