Luis Martinez, Maria Angélica Bautista, Felipe González, Pablo Muñoz, Mounu Prem

Dictatorship, Higher Education and Social Mobility

We study the relationship between political regime change, educational policy and distributional outcomes. Following the 1973 coup in Chile, the Pinochet dictatorship’s goals of political control and fiscal conservatism led to a steady reduction in college 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. Counties with a larger contraction in college enrollment voted more strongly against Pinochet in the 1988 plebiscite that triggered Chile’s return to democracy. After democratization, children with a parent in the affected cohorts are less likely to enroll in college.

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The University of Chicago