Empirical Economics

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 695–716 | Cite as

A new dataset on educational inequality

  • Elena Meschi
  • Francesco Scervini


This paper describes a new dataset, in which measures of educational level and inequality were collected for 48 countries over 13 5-year birth cohorts. Drawing on four representative international surveys (ess, eu-silc, ials and issp), we collected measures of individual educational attainment and aggregated them to generate synthetic indices of educational level and dispersion by countries and birth cohorts. The paper provides a detailed description of the procedures and methodologies adopted to build the new dataset, analyses the validity and consistency of the measures across surveys and discusses the relevance of these data for future research.


New dataset Educational attainment Educational inequality Dispersion indices Cross-country Cohorts 

JEL Classification

I21 D30 Y1 



This paper is part of a larger research project on “Growing INequalities’ Impacts - GINI” financed by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme (contract n. 244592). We thank Gabriele Ballarino, Giuseppe Bertola, Michela Braga, Massimiliano Bratti, Daniele Checchi, Antonio Filippin, Carlo Fiorio, Marco Leonardi and Claudio Lucifora for suggestions and useful discussions. Precious insights by participants in the gini’s Measurements and Methods Workshop, Amsterdam, October 2010 are also gratefully acknowledged.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsCa’ Foscari University of VeniceVeniceItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative MethodsUniversità di MilanoMilanItaly

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