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Educational policies in a long-run perspective

The governance and performance of universities: evidence from Europe and the U.S

Michela Braga (), Daniele Checchi () and Elena Meschi ()

Economic Policy, 2013, vol. 28, issue 73, 45-100

Abstract: In this paper we study the effects of educational reforms on school attainment. We construct a dataset of relevant reforms that occurred at the national level over the last century, and match individual information from 24 European countries to the most likely set-up faced when individual educational choices were undertaken. Our identification strategy relies on temporal and geographical variations in the institutional arrangements, controlling for time/country fixed effects, as well as for country specific time trend. By characterizing each group of reforms for their impact on mean years of education, educational inequality and intergenerational persistence, we show an ideal policy menu which has been available to policymakers. We distinguish between groups of policies that are either ‘inclusive’ or ‘selective’, depending on their diminishing or augmenting impact on inequality and persistence. Finally, we correlate these reform measures to political coalitions prevailing in parliament, finding support for the idea that left-wing parties support reforms that are inclusive, while right-wing parties prefer selective ones.— Michela Braga, Daniele Checchi and Elena Meschi

Date: 2013
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