Do selective schooling systems increase inequality?

Simon Burgess, Matt Dickson, Lindsey Macmillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
257 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate the impact on earnings inequality of a selective education system in
which school assignment is based on initial test scores. We use a large, representative household panel survey to compare adult earnings inequality of those growing up under a selective education system with those educated under a comprehensive system in England. Controlling for a range of background characteristics and the current location, the wage distribution for individuals who grew up in selective schooling areas is substantially and significantly more unequal. The total effect sizes are large: 24% of the raw 90-10 earnings gap and 19% of the conditional 90-10 earnings gap can be explained by differences across schooling systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbergpz028
Number of pages24
JournalOxford Economic Papers
Early online date25 Feb 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Feb 2019

Structured keywords

  • ECON Applied Economics
  • ECON CEPS Education


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