Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility

83 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2020 Last revised: 15 Aug 2021

See all articles by Maria Angelica Bautista

Maria Angelica Bautista

University of Chicago

Felipe González

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - Institute of Economics

Luis R. Martinez

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Pablo Munoz

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Mounu Prem

Universidad del Rosario

Date Written: August 28, 2020

Abstract

We study the relationship between political regimes and higher education and its implications for social mobility and political opposition in the context of the 1973 coup that brought Augusto Pinochet to power in Chile. We show that the Pinochet dictatorship's aims of political control and fiscal conservatism caused a large contraction of all universities in the country, mostly through a steady reduction in the number of openings for new students. Individuals that reached college age shortly after the coup experienced a sharp decline in college enrollment, had worse labor market outcomes throughout the life cycle and struggled to climb up the socioeconomic ladder. These individuals registered to vote at higher rates for the 1988 plebiscite that triggered the democratic transition and we provide suggestive evidence that they increasingly voted against Pinochet. After democratization, children with a parent in the affected cohorts are also less likely to enroll in university.

Keywords: Chile, Pinochet, dictatorship, universities, social mobility, intergenerational transmission, democratization

JEL Classification: H52, I23, I24, I25

Suggested Citation

Bautista, Maria Angelica and González, Felipe and Martinez, Luis and Munoz, Pablo and Prem, Mounu, Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility (August 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3597798 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3597798

Maria Angelica Bautista

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Felipe González

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - Institute of Economics ( email )

Casilla 76
Correo 17
Santiago
Chile

Luis Martinez (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Pablo Munoz

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

579 Evans Hall
Berkeley, CA 94709
United States

Mounu Prem

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Casa Pedro Fermín
Calle 14 # 4-69
Bogota
Colombia

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