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Chile’s Missing Students: Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility

María Angélica Bautista, Felipe González, Luis Martínez, Pablo Muñoz and Mounu Prem

Working papers from Red Investigadores de Economía

Abstract: Hostile policies towards higher education are a prominent feature of authoritarian regimes. We study the capture of higher education by the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile following the 1973 coup. We find three main results: (i) cohorts that reached college age shortly after the coup experienced a large drop in college enrollment as a result of the systematic reduction in the number of openings for incoming students decreed by the regime; (ii) these cohorts had worse economic outcomes throughout the life cycle and struggled to climb up the socioeconomic ladder, especially women; (iii) children with parents in the affected cohorts also have a substantially lower probability of college enrollment. These results demonstrate that the political capture of higher education in non-democracies hinders social mobility and leads to a persistent reduction in human capital accumulation, even after democratization.

Keywords: Dictatorship; Higher education; Social mobility; Intergenerational transmission (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 I24 I25 P51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 90
Date: 2020-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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