Inequality of opportunity in educational achievement in Latin America

Working Paper 2011-206


We assess inequality of opportunity in educational achievement in six Latin American countries, employing two waves of PISA data (2006 and 2009). By means of a non-parametric approach using a decomposable inequality index, GE(0), we rank countries according to their degree of inequality of opportunity. We work with alternative characterizations of types: school type (public or private), gender, parental education, and combinations of those variables. We calculate ?incremental contributions? of each set of circumstances to inequality. We provide rankings of countries based on unconditional inequalities (using conventional indices) and on conditional inequalities (EOp indices), and the two sets of rankings do not always coincide. Inequality of opportunities ranges from less than 1% to up to 27%, with substantial heterogeneity according to the year, the country, the subject and the specification of circumstances. Robustness checks based on bootstrap and the use of an alternative index confirm most of the initial results.

Authors: .

Keywords: Inequality of Opportunity, economics of education, Latin America.
JEL: D63, I24, O15.