Unequal Access to Education and the Gatsby CurveComments for Unequal Access to Education and the Gatsby Curve at http://www.cepr.net , comment 1 to 7 out of 7 comments
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Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:50:19 +0100FeedCreator 1.7.3Second quartile
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/unequal-access-to-education-and-the-gatsby-curve#comment-15136
Agreed. The deterioration in relative opportunity that you show for the second quartile is important and interesting --and something we hadn't paid any attention to. - John SchmittFri, 02 Mar 2012 06:48:23 +0100Inequality of opportunity vs inequality of outcome
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/unequal-access-to-education-and-the-gatsby-curve#comment-15135
As you say, you've got no data here on the outcome you're interested in, but the link between parents' income and education is suggestive.
ORs are good measures of inequality of opportunity, and here it is instructive to see that while the lowest quartile is screwed in both periods, the lower-middle is the one that is losing most in relative terms. - BrendanHFri, 02 Mar 2012 06:33:25 +0100It's still about the non-college grads
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/unequal-access-to-education-and-the-gatsby-curve#comment-15127
But, BrendanH, the core issue here isn't the odds of getting a college degree, it is the odds of moving from the bottom into the top quartile. It isn't possible with the information here to calculate the odds (or the changes in the odds) of moving from the bottom to the top quartile. We don't know, for example, what share of college grads and what share of non-college grads move to the top in either period.
But, the data are pretty suggestive --which is the point of the post. The bottom quartile is overwhelming non-college educated in both periods, but the top quartile is much more college-educated in the second period. It is hard to tell a story about the world where the benefits of a college degree for 4 extra people at the bottom outweigh the substantial increase in the disadvantage for the 91 people at the bottom who still don't have a college degree (where the increase in relative disadvantage is a function of the big rise in college completion at the top). - John SchmittFri, 02 Mar 2012 01:49:46 +0100Odds ratios
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/unequal-access-to-education-and-the-gatsby-curve#comment-15126
You get half way to talking odds ratios: you mention odds, and you invert the outcome. Comparing the odds of getting a degree, for each category relative to the richest quartile, the picture looks like this:
Lowest 25%: 0.094 vs 0.084
2nd quartile: 0.289 vs 0.226
3rd quartile: 0.364 vs 0.401
4th quartile: 1 (reference)
In this view the biggest losers are the second quartile.
Odds ratios are a better measure than differences or ratios of proportions, particularly when the baseline outcome probability changes. That is, they're a better measure of how the underlying structure of inequality changes when there is big growth in college completion. - BrendanHThu, 01 Mar 2012 23:38:03 +0100It's the non-college graduates
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/unequal-access-to-education-and-the-gatsby-curve#comment-15118
The vast majority of the kids born into the bottom quartile are non-college graduates, so the focus in Arjen's comment on what happens to the small share of college graduates in the bottom quartile in the two periods misses the point.
The relevant ratios are 95:36 versus 91:54. For the early 1960s birth cohort, there were about 0.4 (95:36) college grads at the top for every non-college grad at the bottom. For the early 1980s cohorts, there were about 0.6 (91:54) college grads at the top for every non-college grad at the bottom. That is roughly a 50 percent increase in college grads at the top for every non-college grad at the bottom.
Another way to think about this is to ask: if you were a parent, and you knew your kid would be born into the bottom quartile, which world would you rather your kid be born into?
In the later period, your kid has a slightly higher chance of having a college degree (9 versus 5 percent), but is ---either way-- competing against many, many more college graduates at the top (54 versus 36 percent). In this most recent period, 91 out of 100 times, your kid is going to be competing without a college degree against 54 kids at the top who have one. In the earlier period, 95 of 100 times your kid won't have a college degree, but will will be competing against only 36 out of 100 college grads at the top.
- John SchmittThu, 01 Mar 2012 08:58:57 +0100I'm with Arjen
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/unequal-access-to-education-and-the-gatsby-curve#comment-15117
I agree with the conclusion, but I don't buy this analysis. First, I think you need to consider how much of an advantage a college degree provides. Second, I think that it would still be best to consider actual mobility. - tomThu, 01 Mar 2012 05:19:42 +0100...
http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/unequal-access-to-education-and-the-gatsby-curve#comment-15116
Am I missing something here or is the conclusion of this piece wrong? If we just look at the competition between the bottom and top part of the population (and assume this population to be 100), the 5 poor college graduates in the 80's had to compete with 36 rich college graduates, which means they have a chance of 5/41=12% to get a well paying job. Twenty years later the odds are 9/(54+9)=14%, which actually shows a slight improvement for poor people to get a well paying job. - ArjenThu, 01 Mar 2012 04:24:51 +0100