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Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks

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Author Info

  • Checchi, Daniele

    ()
    (University of Milan)

  • Flabbi, Luca

    ()
    (Inter-American Development Bank)

Abstract

Intergenerational mobility in income and education is affected by the influence of parents on children’s school choices. Our focus is on the role played by different school systems in reducing or magnifying the impact of parents on children’s school choices and therefore on intergenerational mobility in general. We compare two apparently similar educational systems, Italy and Germany, to see how the common feature of separate tracks at Secondary School level may produce different impacts on children choices. Using data from a cross-country survey (PISA 2003), we study the impact of parental education on track choice, showing that the greater flexibility of the Italian system (where parents are free to choose the type of track) translates into greater dependence from parental background. These effects are reinforced when moving to post-secondary education, where the aspiration to go to college is affected not only by the school type but also (in the case of Italy only) by parental education. We then move to country-specific data sets (ISTAT 2001 for Italy and GSOEP 2001 and 2002 for Germany) to study the impact of family background on post-secondary school choices: we find this impact is greatly reduced when we control for secondary school tracks. Overall, we estimate large asymmetries by gender, with women’s behavior more independent from family backgrounds than men’s behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2876.

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Length: 65 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Rivista di Politica Economica VII-IX (2013), 7-60
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2876

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Keywords: secondary school tracks; education; intergenerational mobility;

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  1. Daniele Checchi & Giorgio Brunello, 2006. "Does School Tracking Affect Equality of Opportunity? New International Evidence," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics, Universitá degli Studi di Milano unimi-1044, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
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  6. Daniele Checchi, 2003. "The Italian educational system: family background and social stratification," Departmental Working Papers, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano 2003-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  7. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, J. -S., 2001. "Changes in the wage structure, family income, and children's education," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 890-904, May.
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  18. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2001. "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1051-1103, November.
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  1. Gynnar elitklasser eliten?
    by Daniel Waldenström in Ekonomistas on 2009-06-09 04:16:21
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