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Long-Lasting Effects of Socialist Education

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  • Paolo Masella

    (Mannheim University)

  • Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln

    (Goethe University Frankfurt /Main)

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    Abstract

    Political regimes influence the contents of teaching and the criteria used to select and evaluate students. We study the impact of a socialist education on the likelihood of obtaining a college degree, as well as on several labor market outcomes, by exploiting the reorganization of the school system in East Germany after reunification. Our identification strategy relies on the following consideration: within the same cohort of individuals from the East who were still in education at reunification, the ones born earlier in the year started school at a younger age and had thus received one more year of socialist education at reunification. We find that an additional year of socialist education substantially decreases the probability of obtaining a college degree. We also provide evidence that, among male respondents, (i) the abolishment of non meritocratic restrictions to access to college allowed students to invest more in their human capital and therefore achieve a better occupational status (ii) the elimination of any part of the curricula directed towards the transmission of socialist values encouraged participation in the labor market and effort in the workplace.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 1194.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:1194

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    1. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "Why Does Democracy Need Education?," NBER Working Papers 12128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Shleifer, Andrei, 2011. "Teaching Practices and Social Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 6052, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Papaioannou, Elias & Siourounis, Gregorios, 2008. "Economic and social factors driving the third wave of democratization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 365-387, September.
    4. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
    5. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2004. "Institutions as the Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," NBER Working Papers 10481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005. "From Education to Democracy?," NBER Working Papers 11204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 2007. "Education and Social Capital," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-19, Winter.
    9. Puhani, Patrick A. & Weber, Andrea M., 2005. "Does the Early Bird Catch the Worm? Instrumental Variable Estimates of Educational Effects of Age of School Entry in Germany," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 25840, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
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