Structural inequalities in education and their impact on student achievement and earnings in Brazil
- Access to schooling, both at the K-12 and higher education levels, has been dramatically expanded in Brazil since the late 1990s. Part of the disadvantaged population that had been previously excluded from the educational system, such as black students, those coming from low-income backgrounds, and those who need to work while studying, are much more likely now to attend secondary school and, to a lesser extent, higher education institutions. However, access to more years of education is not the same as access to the same quality of education, nor is it a guarantee of equal life opportunities for lower social class youth. The three articles in my dissertation analyze factors in the educational system that could define the educational and economic outcomes for some students — those coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds — differently from the outcomes of their counterparts from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. My research examines how structural factors in the Brazilian educational system may act to maintain inequality even as the system incorporates increasing numbers of low socioeconomic young people into schools and higher education institutions. I do not focus on social mobility directly, but rather more indirectly by examining some of the "mechanisms" of school and higher education systems that could influence social and economic mobility for lower social class males and females in the Brazilian context. In my first paper, I analyze the trends in parental education achievement inequalities in Brazilian K-12 schools in the period 1995 to 2015 — a period of great lower and upper secondary enrollment expansion, and I estimate the role that parental education school segregation among Brazilian states and across time plays in this increase in achievement inequality. My second paper continues to investigate how educational structural factors can contribute to academic inequality in Brazilian schools, by looking at how opportunity to learn (OTL), as measured by teacher reports of the proportion of the curriculum completed, influences the learning outcomes of children studying at K-12 public schools in two recent years, 2007 and 2015. I use a cross-subject empirical strategy, fitting student fixed effects models that analyze whether a student's performance in Portuguese and mathematics relative to the mean performance at one's school is associated with differences in the curriculum covered by teachers in Portuguese and mathematics. Also, I investigate whether the associations between curriculum covered and student achievement vary according to students' sex and socioeconomic background. I In my third paper, I analyze how the structure of the higher educational system in Brazil affects lower income male and female students' earnings and occupational opportunities. My analyses estimates the impact of attending a more selective (as measured by average entrance test score) or higher cost institution on students' earnings. I do the analysis across a selected number of fields of study and across the entire range of institutions attended by students in each field. To identify the effect of institutional selectivity on earnings, I use propensity score matching for students attending proximate selectivity quintiles of higher education institutions within each field of study. My results show that there are fields in which students who attended the most selective (highest quintile) institution compared to students with similar SES and entry test scores who attended a second quintile institution have significantly higher earnings in the labor force. However, the effects are much more consistent across fields at the bottom of the institutional selectivity spectrum. Students who attended fourth quintile institutions are more likely to earn significantly higher earnings than students who could have done so but instead attended a bottom quintile institution. These results have important implications for public sector subsidies for low-income students attending private higher education institutions (essentially all the bottom 40% selective of higher education institutions are private in Brazil).
|Type of resource
|electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
|1 online resource.
|Costa da Fonseca, Izabel
|Reardon, Sean F
|Degree committee member
|Degree committee member
|Reardon, Sean F
|Stanford University, Graduate School of Education.
|Statement of responsibility
|Izabel Costa da Fonseca.
|Submitted to the Graduate School of Education.
|Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2019.
- © 2019 by Izabel Costa da Fonseca
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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