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The intergenerational transmission of education and equality of educational opportunity in East and West Germany

Regina Riphahn () and Parvati Trübswetter ()

Applied Economics, 2013, vol. 45, issue 22, 3183-3196

Abstract: Socialist societies often emphasized the abolition of traditional social classes. To achieve this objective, educational opportunities were at times ‘actively managed’ and allocated to children of less educated parents. What happened to these patterns after the demise of socialist rule in Eastern Europe? We study the development of educational mobility after the fall of the iron curtain in East Germany and compare the relevance of parental educational background for secondary schooling in East and West Germany. Based on the data from the German Mikrozensus we find that educational mobility is lower in East than in West Germany and that it has been falling in East Germany after unification. While the educational advantage of girls declined over time, having many siblings presents a more substantial disadvantage in East than in West Germany.

Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2012.703314

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