Elise S. Brezis

Professor of Economics


Curriculum vitae



Head, Israel Macroeconomic Forum


Department of Economics

Bar-Ilan University, Israel



Social mobility at the top and the higher education system


Journal article


Elise Brezis, Joël Hellier
European Journal of Political Economy, vol. 52, Elsevier, 2018 Mar, pp. 36-54


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APA   Click to copy
Brezis, E., & Hellier, J. (2018). Social mobility at the top and the higher education system. European Journal of Political Economy, 52, 36–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2017.04.005


Chicago/Turabian   Click to copy
Brezis, Elise, and Joël Hellier. “Social Mobility at the Top and the Higher Education System.” European Journal of Political Economy 52 (March 2018): 36–54.


MLA   Click to copy
Brezis, Elise, and Joël Hellier. “Social Mobility at the Top and the Higher Education System.” European Journal of Political Economy, vol. 52, Elsevier, Mar. 2018, pp. 36–54, doi:10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2017.04.005.


BibTeX   Click to copy

@article{brezis2018a,
  title = {Social mobility at the top and the higher education system},
  year = {2018},
  month = mar,
  institution = {},
  journal = {European Journal of Political Economy},
  pages = {36-54},
  publisher = {Elsevier},
  volume = {52},
  doi = {10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2017.04.005},
  author = {Brezis, Elise and Hellier, Joël},
  month_numeric = {3}
}

Abstract

This paper relates social mobility and social stratification to the structure of higher education. We develop an intergenerational model which shows that a two-tier higher education characterised by a division between elite and standard universities can be a key factor in generating permanent social stratification, social immobility and self-reproduction of the ‘elite’. In our approach, low mobility at the top is essentially explained by the differences in quality and in selection between elite and standard universities.

A key result is that the wider the quality gap and the difference in per-student expenditures between elite and standard universities, the less social mobility. This is because a larger quality gap reinforces the weight of family backgrounds at the expense of personal ability. Our simulations show that this impact can be large. These findings provide theoretical bases for the differences in social mobility at the top observed between advanced countries.

Keywords: elite, higher education, intergenerational mobility, social stratification





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