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Does the Expansion of Higher Education Reduce Educational Inequality? Evidence from 12 European Countries

Francesco Vona ()

No 2011-12, Documents de Travail de l'OFCE from Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE)

Abstract: Expansion of higher education leads in principle to attainments’ equalization. Using EU-SILC dataset, this hypothesis is tested for 12 European countries. The paper novelty is to convert multi-dimensional information on parental background in a continuous scale to express origins in relative terms, eliminating the influence of compositional changes. It is shown that the higher education expansion brought about an increase in background-related inequality, which mainly occurred in last decade and has been concentrated in the bottom-half of the background distribution. In the top half, a timid inversely U-shaped relationship emerged especially when considering the transition from upper-secondary to tertiary education.

Keywords: Higher Education Expansion; Educational Inequality; Family Background; Measuring Family Background. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I23 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-eur
Date: 2011-06
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