Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity

43 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2006

See all articles by Gabriela Schuetz

Gabriela Schuetz

Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Heinrich W. Ursprung

University of Konstanz; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Ludger Woessmann

Ifo Institute for Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2005

Abstract

We provide a measure of equality of educational opportunity in 54 countries, estimated as the effect of family background on student performance in two international TIMSS tests. We then show how organizational features of the education system affect equality of educational opportunity. Our model predicts that late tracking and a long pre-school cycle are beneficial for equality, while pre-school enrollment is detrimental at low levels of enrollment and beneficial at higher levels. Using cross-country variations in education policies and their interaction with family background at the student level, we provide empirical evidence supportive of these predictions.

Keywords: equality of opportunity, educational production, family background, student performance, tracking, pre-school, efficiency-equity tradeoff

JEL Classification: I21, J62, H52

Suggested Citation

Schuetz, Gabriela and Ursprung, Heinrich and Woessmann, Ludger, Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity (December 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1906. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=876444

Gabriela Schuetz

Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Munich
Germany

Heinrich Ursprung

University of Konstanz ( email )

Konstanz, D-78457
Germany
+49 7531 88 3713 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Ludger Woessmann (Contact Author)

Ifo Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich
Germany
++49 89 9224 1699 (Phone)
++49 89 9224 1460 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de/link/woessmann_l.htm

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

University of Munich - Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Schackstr. 4
Munich, 80539
Germany

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