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Ph.d.-forsvar — Mikkel Høst Gandil defends his PhD thesis "Intergenerational Mobility and Equality of Opportunity in Primary Education".
Date & Time:
University of Copenhagen, Centre for Health and Society, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K, building 26, Det Store Seminarrum (the big seminarroom, room 26.2.21), 2nd floor.
Department of Economics
Mikkel Høst Gandil
“Intergenerational Mobility and Equality of Opportunity in Primary Education“. Prior to the defence, copies of the dissertation are available at the Information Desk at the Department of Economics, room 26.0.20.
Time and venue
Tuesday 20 November 2018 at 14:00. University of Copenhagen, Centre for Health and Society, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K, building 26, Det Store Seminarrum (the big seminarroom, room 26.2.21), 2nd floor. Kindly note that the defence will start precisely at the announced time.
In the first chapter, I investigate how economic inequality directly influences the statistical measurement of intergenerational mobility. I show that rank correlations are sensitive to gender inequality and therefore difficult to interpret in practice.
The second part consists of three interlinked chapters on how parents transmit their social status to their children through residential segregation and unequal access to primary schools.
The first chapter in this part shows how Danish parents with strong socioeconomic backgrounds avoid enrolling their children in schools with a large share of disadvantaged children. They do this by exploiting private school and a loophole in Danish school assignment policies.
The second chapter in this part shows that house prices reflect the socioeconomic makeup of the local school. As low-income households cannot afford to move close to desirable schools, inequality in parental income translates into unequal access to education, even in cases when schools are free.
The last chapter shows that disadvantaged children gain from exposure to stronger peers while outcomes of stronger peers are insensitive to the socioeconomic composition of schools. This finding is encouraging for the possibility of ensuring better outcomes for disadvantaged children by relocating students across schools.
In conclusion, while there may be scope for enhancing the opportunities of disadvantaged children at little cost to other children by mixing children of different backgrounds, this thesis makes clear that parental choices and housing markets pose fundamental obstacles to ensuring equality of opportunity for all children.