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Cross-country variation in adult skills inequality. Why are skill levels and opportunities so unequal in Anglophone countries?

Cross-country variation in adult skills inequality. Why are skill levels and opportunities so unequal in Anglophone countries?
Cross-country variation in adult skills inequality. Why are skill levels and opportunities so unequal in Anglophone countries?
This article examines cross-country variations in adult skills inequality and asks why skills in Anglophone countries are so unequal. Drawing on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s recent Survey of Adult Skills and other surveys, it investigates the differences across countries and country groups in inequality in both skills opportunities and outcomes and uses pseudo-cohort analysis to establish trends over time and during the life course. The analysis shows that adults’ skills in Anglophone countries, and particularly in the United States and England, tend to be more unequal than in other countries on a wide range of measures. This cannot be explained by intercohort differences, skills distributions among adult migrants, or levels and distributions of adult learning, but inequality in education levels provides a strong predictor of skills inequality among adults. Whereas research suggests that early selection drives skills inequality in compulsory schooling, certain forms of tracking, such as bifurcation into academic or apprenticeship/vocational education in upper secondary education, can have a mitigating effect.
0010-4086
595-618
Green, Andy
8a3d99e5-0a0a-4df0-8725-df42a39ce3df
Green, Francis
7e67da4b-5ee8-4dd9-b62a-e1ae47fdf855
Pensiero, Nicola
a4abb10f-51db-493d-9dcc-5259e526e96b
Green, Andy
8a3d99e5-0a0a-4df0-8725-df42a39ce3df
Green, Francis
7e67da4b-5ee8-4dd9-b62a-e1ae47fdf855
Pensiero, Nicola
a4abb10f-51db-493d-9dcc-5259e526e96b

Green, Andy, Green, Francis and Pensiero, Nicola (2015) Cross-country variation in adult skills inequality. Why are skill levels and opportunities so unequal in Anglophone countries? Comparative Education Review, 59 (4), 595-618. (doi:10.1086/683101).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This article examines cross-country variations in adult skills inequality and asks why skills in Anglophone countries are so unequal. Drawing on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s recent Survey of Adult Skills and other surveys, it investigates the differences across countries and country groups in inequality in both skills opportunities and outcomes and uses pseudo-cohort analysis to establish trends over time and during the life course. The analysis shows that adults’ skills in Anglophone countries, and particularly in the United States and England, tend to be more unequal than in other countries on a wide range of measures. This cannot be explained by intercohort differences, skills distributions among adult migrants, or levels and distributions of adult learning, but inequality in education levels provides a strong predictor of skills inequality among adults. Whereas research suggests that early selection drives skills inequality in compulsory schooling, certain forms of tracking, such as bifurcation into academic or apprenticeship/vocational education in upper secondary education, can have a mitigating effect.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 29 June 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 September 2015

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439421
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439421
ISSN: 0010-4086
PURE UUID: 942c6174-e124-4d50-93e9-1b846a54c565
ORCID for Nicola Pensiero: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2823-9852

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Date deposited: 22 Apr 2020 16:30
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 04:10

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Contributors

Author: Andy Green
Author: Francis Green
Author: Nicola Pensiero ORCID iD

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