Class Ridden or Meritocratic? An Economic Analysis of Recent Changes in Britain

61 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2003

See all articles by Fernando Galindo-Rueda

Fernando Galindo-Rueda

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Anna F. Vignoles

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: December 2002

Abstract

In a meritocratic society an individual's economic success is determined by their ability, not by their parents' socio-economic status. We assess whether meritocracy has increased in both the British education system and labour market. The richness of our longitudinal data enables us to look at the complex inter-relationship between social class, ability, education and labour market outcomes. In Britain the production of human capital (cognitive ability and education) has become less meritocratic and more influenced by social background. Whilst cognitive ability is an important determinant of labour market success, there is only mild support for an increase in its importance.

Keywords: Meritocracy, Ability, Human Capital, Social Class, Wages

JEL Classification: I20, J31

Suggested Citation

Galindo-Rueda, Fernando and Vignoles, Anna F., Class Ridden or Meritocratic? An Economic Analysis of Recent Changes in Britain (December 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=372483

Fernando Galindo-Rueda (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Anna F. Vignoles

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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