The Chilean Education System: Social Mobility and its Significance to Economic Growth

Søren Urup

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis provides evidence on the degree of social mobility as a result of educational mobility and the overall impact of these two factors on economic growth in Chile This research is based on the assumption that, the more educational mobility a country achieves, the more favorable the conditions for economic growth are. Research finds social segregation in Chilean schools after the implementation of Pinochet’s education reform, which sought to improve quality of education through school competition. The education reform has divided schools in socioeconomic homogeneous groups, that affect the students’ networks and job opportunities later in life. Furthermore, evidence has not shown an increase of educational quality as an effect of the reform. However, after the return to democracy, the Chilean government began investing more in education, as high rates of economic growth were seen through the 1990s. Data sets show an improvement of educational attainment for all students, and higher test scores among students of lower socioeconomic status, as an effect of compensating investment. Evidence shows that the improvements are partly the result of the accumulated efforts such as the implementation of reforms and programs. Furthermore, a positive coherence between improved results in international performance tests for students and economic growth is found. This suggests potential economic benefits of improving the education system further.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages84
SupervisorsCarlos Salas Lind