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

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  • Marcus Tamm

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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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung in its series RWI Discussion Papers with number 0055.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:dpaper:0055

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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. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  2. Ira N. Gang & Thomas Bauer, 2000. "Sibling Rivalry in Educational Attainment: The German Case," Departmental Working Papers 199909, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Eric I. Knudsen & James J. Heckman & Judy L. Cameron & Jack P. Shonkoff, 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce," NBER Working Papers 12298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marco Francesconi & Stephen P. Jenkins & Thomas Siedler, 2006. "Childhood Family Structure and Schooling Outcomes: Evidence for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 610, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, 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. Richard Williams, 2006. "Generalized ordered logit/partial proportional odds models for ordinal dependent variables," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(1), pages 58-82, March.
  8. 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, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  9. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Schluter, Christian, 2002. "The Effect of Family Income During Childhood on Later-Life Attainment: Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 604, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. 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.
  11. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  12. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  13. repec:ese:iserwp:2002-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Corak, Miles & Fertig, Michael & Tamm, Marcus, 2005. "A Portrait of Child Poverty in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1528, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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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. Hörisch, Hannah, 2008. "Does parental employment affect children's educational attainment?," Discussion Papers in Economics 2140, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Riphahn, Regina T. & Trübswetter, Parvati, 2011. "The intergenerational transmission of educational attainment in East and West Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201104, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  4. 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.
  5. repec:ese:iserwp:2008-24 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. 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) 2008042, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.

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