Social mobility depends on structure of economy not education

In Public Administration on 09/05/2019 at 1:33 pm

When I read the following excerpts from the FT’s chief economics columnist, Martin Wolf, I couldn’t help but think about the so called abolition of streaming and other attempts to make good education less exclusive  (Examples: Lower- and middle-income students at independent schools to receive more financial aid: Ong Ye Kung and “abolition” of streaming for the plebs.

My take on our education system

No more streaming? Really? What a load of BS: It’s only for the plebs not gd enough for RI, MGS, St Nick and other so-called elite schools.

Don’t blame kiasu parents, blame PAP govt

Hard truths about elite schools

Doublespeak on “Every school a good school”

Minister Ong wants a camel?

Akan datang says minister: Non-grad minister


Martin Wolf:

The chief determinant of social mobility [the writer had earlier used UK data to show the relationship of the UK economy to social mobility], then, is the class structure of the economy and its rate of change.

Education has only second-order effects on mobility. It influences, but does not determine, the structure of the economy: that is why graduate unemployment is quite common across the world. It is, in fact, more of a positional good: relative education matters. While some from working-class backgrounds will get more of this good, professional parents will always help their offspring to outcompete them.

In sum, if we really care about social mobility, it is on the economy that we should focus most of our attention.


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