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Re: st: Inequality of education: ineqdec0?

From   Maarten buis <>
Subject   Re: st: Inequality of education: ineqdec0?
Date   Thu, 18 Feb 2010 23:48:31 -0800 (PST)

--- On Thu, 18/2/10, Francesco Burchi wrote:
> I am using individual data to calculate inequality of
> educational participation across people in a country
> in 3 different year. I would like to compute the Gini
> coefficient and possibly other indices of inequality
> on the variable "years of schooling". Can I use the
> simple command:
> Ineqdec0 EDU ?
> The problems is that years of schooling is a discrete
> variable, which presents many 0-values, and I am not
> sure whether I can use the same procedure used for
> computing income inequality. Moreover, can I compare
> directly the indices for the three years?

One problem you would need to consider is that any 
changes in inequality over time will be influenced by
educational expansion, i.e. more recent cohorts get more
education than older cohorts. So what usualy happens is
that initially there isn't much inequality because a 
large portion of the population was bunched at the lowest
level (i.e. everybody is equally misserable). In later 
cohorts people get more education, which means that there
is more possibility to differ from one another, and thus
inequality increases. So, if you see an increase in 
inequality over time you need to ask yourself, do I see
an increase in inequality or an increase in the average
level of education? In my sub-discipline such an increase
in inequality would be considered a trivial consequence of
educational expansion. At least you would need to discuss
the relation between inequality and changes the average
level of education. One way to do so is to show how the 
distribution of education changes over time. You could a 
stacked bar chart for that.

Hope this helps,

Maarten L. Buis
Institut fuer Soziologie
Universitaet Tuebingen
Wilhelmstrasse 36
72074 Tuebingen


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