Globalization and the Political Economy of Educational Inequality

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Date

2015

Authors

Gift, Thomas C.

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Wibbels, Erik

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Abstract

I claim that globalization increases demands for education the most in less productive economies by fueling competition that both expands skill-intensive employment opportunities at an accelerated rate and funnels in relatively skilled jobs from overseas through offshoring. These dynamics most incentivize low-income citizens to vote and lobby for education because the poor—who face limited resources and exigent present needs—only prioritize schooling over short-term government provisions when they perceive education as a gateway for improving children's long-run earnings. I test my theory with multiple analyses: 1) a large-N, cross-country procedure that shows that globalization reduces educational inequality the most in less productive economies; 2) a micro-level study of approximately 100,000 parents demonstrating that demands for education among the poor are greatest in open, less productive economies; 3) an investigation of diachronic shocks to globalization exposure in Costa Rica and Zambia that heightened demand for education among low-income residents; and 4) in-depth, qualitative case studies that link exposure to globalization to pro-poor schooling in Ireland and Vietnam.

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Citation

Gift, Thomas C. (2015). Globalization and the Political Economy of Educational Inequality. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11315.

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