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Does Money Buy Higher Schooling?: Evidence from Secondary School Track Choice in Germany

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  • Marcus Tamm

Abstract

The German schooling system selects children into different secondary school tracks already at a very early stage in life. School track choice heavily influences choices and opportunities later in life. It has often been observed that secondary schooling achievements display a strong correlation with parental income. We use sibling fixed effects models and information on a natural experiment in order to analyze whether this correlation is due to a causal effect of income or due to unobservable factors that themselves might be correlated across generations. Our main findings suggest that income has no positive causal effect on school choice and that differences between high- and low-income households are driven by unobserved heterogeneity, e.g. differences in motivation or preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 41.

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Length: 19 p.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp41

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Keywords: Child poverty; educational attainment; secondary schools; sibling differences; natural experiment;

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References

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  1. Ira N. Gang & Thomas Bauer, 2000. "Sibling Rivalry in Educational Attainment: The German Case," Departmental Working Papers, Rutgers University, Department of Economics 199909, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  2. Stephen P. Jenkins & Christian Schluter, 2002. "The Effect of Family Income during Childhood on Later-life Attainment: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 317, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  5. repec:ese:iserwp:2005-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sylke Schnepf, 2002. "A Sorting Hat that Fails? The transition from primary to secondary school in Germany," Innocenti Working Papers inwopa02/22, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
  8. Michael Fertig & Marcus Tamm & Miles Corak, 2005. "A Portrait of Child Poverty in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung 0026, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  9. Richard Williams, 2006. "Generalized ordered logit/partial proportional odds models for ordinal dependent variables," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(1), pages 58-82, March.
  10. Thorsten Schneider, 2004. "Der Einfluss des Einkommens der Eltern auf die Schulwahl," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 446, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  12. Francesconi, Marco & Jenkins, Stephen P & Siedler, Thomas, 2005. "Childhood Family Structure and Schooling Outcomes: Evidence for Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5362, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Knudsen, Eric I. & Heckman, James J. & Cameron, Judy L. & Shonkoff, Jack P., 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce," IZA Discussion Papers 2190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. repec:ese:iserwp:2002-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Guido Heineck & Oliver Wölfel, 2010. "Parental Risk Attitudes and Children's Secondary School Track Choice," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 344, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Cordero, José Manuel & Prior, Diego & Simancas Rodríguez, Rosa, 2013. "A comparison of public and private schools in Spain using robust nonparametric frontier methods," MPRA Paper 51375, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Schildberg-Hoerisch, Hannah, 2011. "Does parental employment affect children's educational attainment?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1456-1467.
  4. Riphahn, Regina T. & Trübswetter, Parvati, 2011. "The intergenerational transmission of educational attainment in East and West Germany," IAB Discussion Paper, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany] 201104, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  5. Marjan, MAES, 2008. "Poverty persistence among Belgian elderly in the transition from work to retirement : an empirical analysis," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques), Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques 2008042, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  6. Maes, Marjan, 2008. "poverty persistence among belgian elderly: true or spurious?," Working Papers, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management 2008/10, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.

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