Social class and the choice of education. An empirical application of the subjective expected utility theory

Authors
Citation
R. Becker, Social class and the choice of education. An empirical application of the subjective expected utility theory, KOLNER Z SO, 52(3), 2000, pp. 450
Citations number
33
Language
TEDESCO
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Psycology
Journal title
KOLNER ZEITSCHRIFT FUR SOZIOLOGIE UND SOZIALPSYCHOLOGIE
ISSN journal
0023-2653 → ACNP
Volume
52
Issue
3
Year of publication
2000
Database
ISI
SICI code
0023-2653(200009)52:3<450:SCATCO>2.0.ZU;2-7
Abstract
This empirical study seeks to contribute to the explanation of class differ ences in educational opportunities in the transition from primary to second ary education. According to recent theoretical explanations the social ineq uality in education results - apart from the historical conditions and inst itutions of the educational system - from rational choices of parents about the continuation of their children's education. There is a nexus between c lass specific evaluation of costs and benefits of higher education and educ ational choice, which depends on the parents' resources and the selection a nd allocation function of the educational system. This interrelationship re sults in unequal educational attainment among the children of different soc ial classes. These hypotheses are tested by employing a two-step model of t he dynamics of choices and actual transition. Using panel data and logistic regression as well as considering the children's social origin the rise of educational aspirations and the following transition to higher education c racks are analyzed. The results lend support to the mechanisms and processe s assumed by the subjective expected utility approach. However, there is an open question about the historical persistence of class differences in edu cation in spite of educational expansion and school reforms.