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Do educational systems generate well-being inequalities? : an international comparative analysis

Abstract : This study investigates the association between post-secondary education and well-being in international comparative perspective, conceptualizing well-being as a capability-informed measure of flourishing. Based on a combined human capital–capability approach, post-secondary education, operationalized as highest post-secondary educational credential, is hypothesized to relate positively with well-being net of individual-level and country-level controls at both the micro and macro levels of analysis. Prominent critiques of these approaches, suggesting indirect effects through occupational sorting at the individual level and economic factors at the country level, are also explored.Beyond these overall associations, differences amongst countries are anticipated: Therefore, a modified educational welfare regimes framework informed by comparative educational research is proposed based on an analytical taxonomy mapping onto post-secondary educational stratification and decommodification. Levels of, and the association between, education and well-being are compared amongst individuals and countries, exploring the macro–micro interaction between institutional arrangements and life outcomes. Effects are tested parametrically in regression models using interaction effects and a ‘two-step’ approach to hierarchical data analysis, as well as mediation models comparing human agency-orientated perspectives and their social selection-based critiques.These results are interpreted through a frame of inquiry focused on educational inequalities in well-being, finding that education and well-being are significantly associated at both the micro and macro levels even with the inclusion of relevant control variables. However, patterns in the strength of these associations amongst countries are complex, varying with the operationalization of well-being used and depending on both levels of educational stratification and decommodification. These findings offer some support for the notion that equalizing, or non-stratifying, educational systems, as well as decommodifying redistribution efforts, are instrumental in the effort to counter inequalities in well-being.
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Janine Jongbloed. Do educational systems generate well-being inequalities? : an international comparative analysis. Education. Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018UBFCH020⟩. ⟨tel-02083978⟩

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