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Fair and unfair educational inequality in a developing country: The role of pupil’s effort

M Asadullah (), Alain Trannoy, Sandy Tubeuf () and Gaston Yalonetzky ()
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Alain Trannoy: Aix-Marseille University (AMSE), CNRS and EHESS, France

No 474, Working Papers from ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality

Abstract: Inequality of opportunity builds upon the distinction between fair inequality related to responsibility variables and unfair inequality related to circumstances. This distinction is meaningful as long as responsibility variables are not fully determined by circumstances. We attempt to check the magnitude of the correlation between child effort and family background when measuring inequalities of opportunity in education using a purposefully designed survey on secondary-school education in rural Bangladesh. The analysis comprises decomposition exercises of the predicted variance of school performance in mathematics and English by source and subgroup based on parametric estimates of educational production functions. Pupils’ effort, preferences, and talents contribute between a third and 40\% of the total predicted variances in performance scores. The correlation between overall effort and circumstances does not matter much since the contribution of overall effort only falls by 10\% when the correlation is taken into account. All in all, these results cast doubt on the common practice of reducing education to a circumstance when estimating inequality of opportunity in income attainment.

Keywords: inequality of opportunity; education; effort; decomposition; school. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C01 I24 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-sea and nep-ure
Date: 2018-09
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2018-474

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