The maximally maintained inequality (MMI) hypothesis claims that education expansion causes the decline in quantitative inequalities in enrollment rates once the enrollment rate for the most advantaged socioeconomic (SES) group approaches the saturation point. MMI predicts the decrease of family background effect on educational attainment after the saturation point for the high SES groups has been reached.

Originating from Mare's model of educational transitions and developed further by A. E. Raftery and M. Hout, maximally maintained inequality is often referred to as the persistence of intergenerational educational inequality.

A commonly held belief maintains that educational expansion reduces socioeconomic inequalities of access to education by increasing equality of educational opportunity. The counterarguments of MMI maintain that educational inequalities persist despite expansion. This is because those from more advantaged ...

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