Purpose: This paper aims at studying the degree of equality of educational opportunity in the Italian university system. Methodology: We build on the approaches developed by Peragine (2004, 2005) and Lefranc et al. (2006a, 2006b) and focus on the equality of educational opportunities for individuals of different social background. We propose different definitions of equality of opportunity in education. Then, we provide testable conditions with the aim of (i) testing for the existence of equality of opportunity (EOp) in a given distribution and (ii) ranking distributions on the basis of EOp. Definitions and conditions resort to standard stochastic conditions that are tested by using nonparametric tests developed by Beach and Davidson (1983) and Davidson and Duclos (2000). Findings: Our empirical results show a strong family effect on the performances of students in the higher education and on the transition of graduates in the labor market. Moreover the inequality of opportunity turns out to be more severe in the South than in the regions of the North- Center.

Higher education and equality of opportunity in Italy

PERAGINE, Vitorocco;SERLENGA, Laura
2008

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims at studying the degree of equality of educational opportunity in the Italian university system. Methodology: We build on the approaches developed by Peragine (2004, 2005) and Lefranc et al. (2006a, 2006b) and focus on the equality of educational opportunities for individuals of different social background. We propose different definitions of equality of opportunity in education. Then, we provide testable conditions with the aim of (i) testing for the existence of equality of opportunity (EOp) in a given distribution and (ii) ranking distributions on the basis of EOp. Definitions and conditions resort to standard stochastic conditions that are tested by using nonparametric tests developed by Beach and Davidson (1983) and Davidson and Duclos (2000). Findings: Our empirical results show a strong family effect on the performances of students in the higher education and on the transition of graduates in the labor market. Moreover the inequality of opportunity turns out to be more severe in the South than in the regions of the North- Center.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/114037
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