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Abitur and What Next? Reasons for Gaining Double Qualifications in Germany


  • Lutz Bellmann
  • Florian Janik


This paper deals with the reasons for first taking up vocational training after obtaining the German upper secondary school-leaving certificate (Abitur) instead of going straight on to academic education. The study uses the data from the BiBB/BAuA employment survey 2006, where not only educational paths are included, but also the final marks of those interviewed who had passed the Abitur. Our key result is the positive and highly significant impact which the Abitur mark has on the probability of gaining double qualifications. This confirms the hypothesis of Büchel/Helberger (1995) according to which individuals who have passed the Abitur opt to take up in-firm vocational training before going into higher education in order to protect themselves against the risk of failing during the studies. In addition to this there are indications that individuals’ education decisions are also geared towards their employment prospects after training and that double qualifications are chosen especially in fields where there are “related” occupations in Germany’s dual system of vocational training. Furthermore, we do not find significant differences for the sub-samples of western Germans with a university entrance qualification (Abitur) and those with a qualification providing access to studies at a polytechnic (Fachabitur).

Suggested Citation

  • Lutz Bellmann & Florian Janik, 2010. "Abitur and What Next? Reasons for Gaining Double Qualifications in Germany," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 130(1), pages 1-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v130_y2010_i1_q1_p1-18

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2004. "The Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Evidence from a Prototypical Job Training Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 243-298, April.
    2. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2005. "The Employment Effects of Job Creation Schemes in Germany: A Microeconometric Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 1512, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Heinemann, Sarah & Gartner, Hermann & Jozwiak, Eva, 2006. "Arbeitsförderung für Langzeitarbeitslose : erste Befunde zu Eingliederungsleistungen des SGB III im Rechtskreis SGB II," IAB-Forschungsbericht 200603, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Hohmeyer, Katrin & Wolff, Joachim, 2007. "A fistful of Euros: Does One-Euro-Job participation lead means-tested benefit recipients into regular jobs and out of unemployment benefit II receipt?," IAB Discussion Paper 200732, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    5. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2005. "Individual employment effects of job creation schemes in Germany with respect to sectoral heterogeneity," IAB Discussion Paper 200513, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
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    7. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2004. "Evaluation der Eingliederungseffekte von Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnahmen in reguläre Beschäftigung für Teilnehmer in Deutschland," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-46, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    9. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vanessa Hartlaub & Thorsten Schneider, 2012. "Educational Choice and Risk Aversion: How Important Is Structural vs. Individual Risk Aversion?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 433, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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