PublicationWorking Papers

Quality of Education and Equality of Opportunity in Spain

Lesson from Pisa

Social Sciences > Education Sciences, Public Policy

This working paper analyzes the performance of the Spanish educational system according to the 2006 PISA report, focussing on the equality of opportunity. The basic idea is that a good educational system should produce outcomes that depend basically on the students’ effort and not on the students’ external circumstances (parental background here).

We present a simple formula to estimate the inequality of  opportunity and analyze empirically the behaviour of Spain and its constituent regions, both with respect to quality (mean scores) and with respect to the inequality of opportunity. We find that Spain performs better than the European average in terms of equality of opportunity and worse in terms of quality. We also find large and systematic differences between the Spanish regions.