Education and Equal Opportunities

Education & Equal Opportunities

The world is changing, and it is not changing back. The best way to cope, for young people and everyone else (including policymakers), is a constantly evolving, high-quality education system that responds to the needs of the times and of the respective economies. Education is also key for promoting equal opportunities and fostering social mobility and social cohesion. This section of EconPol explores the relationship between education and socio-economic outcomes, proposing solutions to the barriers that hinder equitable access to education, such as socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, and geographical location, with the goal of helping to devise policies and initiatives aimed at reducing disparities and promoting inclusive systems.

Related articles

Apprenticeship Skills Pay Off on the Labor Market


Christina Langer, Jakob Peiffer and Simon Wiederhold

Workers’ skills are essential to their success on the labor market. However, the empirical evidence on the economic impact of higher skills is still limited due to how skills are measured. In this article, the authors develop novel measures of workers’ skills that are comprehensive, highly detailed, and directly relevant to the labor market. To this end, they leverage the characteristics of the German apprenticeship system, which offers three main advantages for measuring skills and analyzing their labor market potential.

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Discrimination of Sexual Minorities in Emerging Markets: Can the Needle Be Moved?


Cevat Giray Aksoy, Christopher S. Carpenter, Ralph De Haas, Mathias Dolls, Lisa Windsteiger

Recent advances in rights for lesbians, gay men, and bisexual individuals (LGB) have varied substantially across the world. This article provides new evidence on the determinants of support for sexual minorities in Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine – three emerging markets with some of the lowest rates of social acceptance of sexual minorities in Europe.

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The Effect of Subject-Specific Teacher Qualifications on Student Science Achievement

Vera Freundl, Pietro Sancassani

What makes a good teacher? This is one of the central questions in the economics of education. General teacher qualifications, such as education level or advanced degrees, tend to be poor predictors of teacher quality. Instead, some studies have shown that subject-specific qualifications predict teacher quality better. However, the vast majority of such studies are based on data from the United States. It is therefore unclear to what extent the findings can be generalized to other nations, as teacher education programs vary widely across countries. The lack of international evidence is particularly problematic for developing economies, which would arguably benefit most from improving student achievement.

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The Demand for Data Skills in German Companies: Evidence from Online Job Advertisements


Jan Büchel, Jan Engler, Armin Mertens

The analysis shows that data skills are required in many job advertisements in Germany and are becoming more relevant. This is a positive sign for the data economy in Germany, as companies increasingly realize the potential of data and try to implement it in their own operations. However, a growing demand for employees with data skills poses challenges for companies in the future in view of the existing skills gap, especially in digitalization professions. Policymakers should intervene by, for example, taking measures that make it easier for companies to recruit foreign workers.

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Regional Income Inequality in Germany


Immo Frieden, Andreas Peichl and Paul Schüle

In this article, the authors provide new evidence on regional income inequality in Germany, using tabulated income tax statistics for the period 1998-2016. Other than related work on regional income inequality in Germany which analyzes income or wages at the county level, we can characterize inequality at the municipality level. As there currently exist 401 counties in Germany, but more than 10,000 municipalities, our analysis is conducted at a much more fine-grained level.

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