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Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: Evidence on the Role of Tracking from a Finnish Quasi-experiment

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  • Tuomas Pekkarinen

Abstract

In this paper we study the relationship between the timing of tracking of pupils into vocational and academic secondary education and gender differences in educational attainment and income. It is argued that in a comprehensive system, where students are tracked into vocational and academic schools relatively late (age 15-16), girls are more likely to choose the academic track than boys. We exploit the Finnish comprehensive school reform of the 1970s to analyse this hypothesis. This changed the Finnish school system from a selective to a comprehensive structure and postponed tracking from the age of 10-11 to 15-16. Since the reform was not implemented at the same time throughout the country, we can observe members of the same cohorts under both systems. The shift to a comprehensive system was found to increase gender differences in the probability of choosing an academic secondary education and of continuing onto academic tertiary education. Moreover, the reform decreased the gender wage gap in adult income by four percentage points. Copyright � The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2008 .

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 110 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 807-825

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:110:y:2008:i:4:p:807-825

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Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9442

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Cited by:
  1. Korthals Roxanne, 2012. "Selection and tracking in secondary education: A cross country analysis of student performance and educational opportunities," ROA Research Memorandum 014, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  2. Rainer, Helmut & Selvaretnam, Geetha & Ulph, David, 2008. "Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) in a Model of Fertility Choice," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-09, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  3. Bertrand, Marianne, 2011. "New Perspectives on Gender," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Pekkarinen, Tuomas, 2012. "Gender Differences in Education," IZA Discussion Papers 6390, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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