Beblavy, Miroslav. and Thum, Anna-Elisabeth. and Veselkova, Marcela (2011) Education policy and welfare regimes in OECD countries. Social stratification and equal opportunity in education. CEPS Working Document No. 357, December 2011. [Working Paper]
In this Working Document we look at which OECD countries deliberately attempt to reproduce social stratification through educational policies, and which countries put greater emphasis on intervening in the stratification process. First, we examine the relationship between education and welfare policies as measures of intervention in this process: do countries intervene in both education and welfare – driven by a ‘stratification culture’? Or is there a trade-off between intervention in education and welfare, with certain countries prioritising one over the other? Our findings indicate that there are two pure types of clusters: i) a cluster in which: “the role of public policy is to promote equality” including countries that are egalitarian in the welfare and the education systems and ii) a cluster with stratification in both, a cluster in which – “there is a proper place for everyone in society” and several mixed clusters. Second, we consider whether it is the state on the one hand or the market or family on the other hand that provides education and welfare. We found that countries can be grouped into more market-oriented and more ‘etatist’ clusters. Combining the analysis of stratification with the analysis of the market/state boundary, we observe a more complex clustering in groups of less egalitarian and market-oriented countries, less egalitarian market-oriented, egalitarian state-oriented, educational egalitarian state-oriented and educational egalitarian market-oriented countries. We interpret our findings as challenging a one-policy-fits-all approach that advocates education policy reforms designed to increase equal opportunities in education. We argue that the context of each country needs to be considered before the implementation of such policies.
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