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Assessing students'equality of opportunity in OECD countries: the role of national and school-level policies

Michele Raitano () and Francesco Vona ()

No 2011-17, Documents de Travail de l'OFCE from Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE)

Abstract: This paper analyses the relationship between equality of opportunities and characteristics of the educational systems, jointly considering country- and school-level features. Because the peer group composition represents a fundamental channel in shaping educational opportunities, we consider all policies, surveyed in the PISA 2006 dataset, that affect the sorting of students to schools. Our empirical analysis shows that the inclusion of sorting policies enhances the capacity of explaining the determinants of the socio-economic gradient with respect to previous studies including only countrylevel features. In particular, it casts doubts on the prominent role attributed to school tracking. However sorting policies do not fully account for the influence of school composition on the socioeconomic gradient; the direct inclusion of peer variables allows to highlight the equalizing impact of mixing students from different backgrounds. Among the other policies, also pre-school enrolment, public expenditure in education and ability tracking display a significant equalizing effect.

Keywords: School composition; equality of opportunity; sorting and tracking policies; family background (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 H52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-lab and nep-ure
Date: 2011-09
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Journal Article: Assessing students’ equality of opportunity in OECD countries: the role of national- and school-level policies (2016) Downloads
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