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Unequal educational trajectories: the case of Ethiopia

Dates:
  • Tue 21 Jan 2020 13.00 - 15.00
  Add to Calendar 2020-01-21 13:00 2020-01-21 15:00 Europe/Paris Unequal educational trajectories: the case of Ethiopia

Presentation by Ilze Plavgo within the Inequality Working Group

This paper investigates the relationship between children’s early cognitive abilities and later parental decisions regarding investments in higher levels of education, focusing on disparities by parental socioeconomic status (SES). It tests whether differences in children’s initial cognitive abilities are reinforced or compensated by families’ educational investment decisions across three transition points of the educational cycle: upper primary, secondary, and higher education. The analysis is based on the Young Lives long-term longitudinal study which followed the lives of two birth cohorts born around 1994 and 2001 in four countries, including 3,000 children in Ethiopia. Findings point at three sources of inequality in educational opportunities. Firstly, poorer children on average develop lower cognitive abilities during childhood which negatively affects their later school transitions. This finding underlines the need for more policy efforts to equalize cognitive development opportunities early in life. Secondly, high-SES parents tend to compensate in case of early disadvantage at the primary school level. At higher levels of education, any remaining disadvantage is reinforced for all children, but SES gaps in children’schances to make transitions increase at each level. Thirdly, low-SES children have meagre chances to transit to tertiary education, also when their initial endowments are high. This points at a loss of talent and a need to reduce existing barriers for children from low-SES families to transit to higher levels of education.

Seminar Room 2 - Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Seminar Room 2 - Badia Fiesolana

Presentation by Ilze Plavgo within the Inequality Working Group

This paper investigates the relationship between children’s early cognitive abilities and later parental decisions regarding investments in higher levels of education, focusing on disparities by parental socioeconomic status (SES). It tests whether differences in children’s initial cognitive abilities are reinforced or compensated by families’ educational investment decisions across three transition points of the educational cycle: upper primary, secondary, and higher education. The analysis is based on the Young Lives long-term longitudinal study which followed the lives of two birth cohorts born around 1994 and 2001 in four countries, including 3,000 children in Ethiopia. Findings point at three sources of inequality in educational opportunities. Firstly, poorer children on average develop lower cognitive abilities during childhood which negatively affects their later school transitions. This finding underlines the need for more policy efforts to equalize cognitive development opportunities early in life. Secondly, high-SES parents tend to compensate in case of early disadvantage at the primary school level. At higher levels of education, any remaining disadvantage is reinforced for all children, but SES gaps in children’schances to make transitions increase at each level. Thirdly, low-SES children have meagre chances to transit to tertiary education, also when their initial endowments are high. This points at a loss of talent and a need to reduce existing barriers for children from low-SES families to transit to higher levels of education.


Location:
Seminar Room 2 - Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

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