ERIC Number: ED390963
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Demography and the Evolution of Educational Inequality.
Mare, Robert D.
The combined effects of differential fertility, differential mortality, and intergenerational educational mobility on the distribution of educational attainment in the United States were studied for women in the past half century. A simple model for the reproduction of educational hierarchies was used that takes these factors, plus age structure and social mobility, into account. The analyses make it apparent that differential fertility by educational attainment of the mother has retarded the growth of average educational attainment over the past 50 years, but the effect is small. The differential timing of fertility has essentially no effect. Differential mortality raises the average level of educational attainment because less-educated persons die earlier than their more educated counterparts, but this effect is even smaller than the fertility differentials. In a world of perfect social mobility, differential fertility has no effect on educational distributions, but even in this unrealistic case, the impact of differential fertility over a 50-year period is small relative to the overall change in average attainment. A look at the future suggests that effects of differential fertility on educational attainment will continue to be small. (Contains 4 tables, 2 figures, and 54 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (DHHS), Washington, DC.; Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Center for Demography and Ecology.