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The effects of school entry laws on educational attainment and starting wages in an early tracking system

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  • Martina Zweimüller

Abstract

Empirical evidence suggests that relative age, which is determined by date of birth and the school entry cutoff date, has a causal effect on track choice. Using a sample of male labor market entrants drawn from Austrian register data, I analyze whether the initial assignment to different school tracks has persistent effects on educational attainment and earnings in the first years of the career. I estimate the reduced-form effect of the school entry law on starting wages and find a wage penalty of 1.1–2.0 percent for students born in August (the youngest) compared to students born in September (the oldest). The analysis of educational attainment suggests that significant differences in the type of education exist. Younger students are more likely to pursue an apprenticeship and less likely to have higher education. After five years of labor market experience, the wage penalty amounts to 0.8–1.1 percent, suggesting a persistent (albeit decreasing) negative effect of the school entry rule on labor market outcomes in an early tracking system.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2013-05.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2013_05

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Postal: NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz
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Keywords: School entry law; early tracking; educational attainment; earnings; labor market entrants;

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  1. Tuomas Pekkarinen & Roope Uusitalo & Sari Kerr, 2009. "School tracking and development of cognitive skills," Working Papers 2, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
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  4. Nicole Schneeweis & Martina Zweimüller, 2009. "Early tracking and the misfortune of being young," NRN working papers 2009-20, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  5. Nina Guyon & Eric Maurin & Sandra McNally, 2010. "The Effect of Tracking Students by Ability into Different Schools: A Natural Experiment," Working Papers 2010.152, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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    • Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian Social Security Database," NRN working papers 2009-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
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  17. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
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  20. Caroline Hall, 2012. "The Effects of Reducing Tracking in Upper Secondary School: Evidence from a Large-Scale Pilot Scheme," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(1), pages 237-269.
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