Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility

63 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2023

See all articles by Maria Angelica Bautista

Maria Angelica Bautista

University of Chicago

Felipe González

Queen Mary University of London

Luis R. Martinez

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Pablo Munoz

Universidad de Chile

Mounu Prem

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

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Date Written: September 12, 2023

Abstract

We study the effect of political regime change on higher education and its distributional consequences. We focus on Chile’s military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet, a regime characterized by a conservative ideology, severe repression, and a technocratic approach to policy- making. After coming to power through a coup in 1973, the Pinochet regime steadily reduced government funding for higher education, which led to fewer openings for new college students and lower tertiary enrollment. These cuts disproportionately affected college applicants from less affluent backgrounds. Exploiting the greater exposure to the contraction of higher education experienced by birth cohorts that reached college age shortly after the 1973 coup, we show that those affected had lower college enrollment, worse labor market outcomes, and struggled to climb up the socioeconomic ladder. These findings suggest that the contraction of higher education hindered social mobility and plausibly contributed to the increase in inequality observed under Pinochet.

Keywords: Chile, Pinochet, higher education, technocracy, inequality, redistribution

Suggested Citation

Bautista, Maria Angelica and González, Felipe and Martinez, Luis and Munoz, Pablo and Prem, Mounu, Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility (September 12, 2023). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2023-121, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4569458 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4569458

Maria Angelica Bautista

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Felipe González

Queen Mary University of London ( email )

Mile End Road
London, London E1 4NS
United Kingdom

Luis Martinez (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Pablo Munoz

Universidad de Chile ( email )

Beauchef 851, Santiago
Santiago, R. Metropolitana 7520421
Chile

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/view/pablomh

Mounu Prem

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

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