Review Paper 11

Indicators of educational inequalities


Márton Medgyesi

Tárki Social Research Institute, Budapest



This paper reviews methods proposed by the social science literature to measure educational inequalities. Three different perspectives of educational inequalities are presented. The first perspective is inequality of educational outcomes. The second perspective is that of inequality in educational opportunities, that is, differences in educational outcomes related to the parental background. One strand of this literature studies educational mobility, another uses regression methods to relate different components of family background to child education outcomes, while the third literature uses inequality decomposition methods to separate inequality of opportunity. Our third perspective on educational inequality is directly related to the distribution of school resources between children from different social background. The aim is to say whether poor/minority children typically attend schools with inferior quantity or quality of school inputs.

In each case methodological properties of frequently used indicators are discussed and comparative evidence is presented based either on own calculations or on review of the literature.

Full text


 Indicators of educational inequalities


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This project is funded by the European Commission, Research Directorate General as part of the 7th Framework Programme, Theme 8: Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities.

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