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The Impact of Length of the School Year on Student Performance and Earnings: Evidence From the German Short School Years

  • Jörn-Steffen Pischke

This article investigates how changing the length of the school year, leaving the basic curriculum unchanged, affects learning and subsequent earnings. I use variation introduced by the West German short school years in 1966-7, which exposed some students to a total of about two thirds of a year less of schooling while enrolled. I find that the short school years increased grade repetition in primary school and led to fewer students attending higher secondary school tracks. On the other hand, the short school years had no adverse effect on earnings and employment later in life. Copyright 2007 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2007.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 117 (2007)
Issue (Month): 523 (October)
Pages: 1216-1242

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:117:y:2007:i:523:p:1216-1242
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  1. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
  3. Wößmann, Ludger, 2003. "Schooling resources, educational institutions and student performance: The international evidence," Munich Reprints in Economics 19661, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  7. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1998. "Income, Schooling, And Ability: Evidence From A New Sample Of Identical Twins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 253-284, February.
  8. Martin Biewen, 2002. "The Covariance Structure of East and West German Incomes and its Implications for the Persistence of Poverty and Inequality," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 292, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Empirical Strategies in Labor Economics," Working Papers 780, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  11. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2002. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Grogger, Jeff, 1996. "Does School Quality Explain the Recent Black/White Wage Trend?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 231-53, April.
  13. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2002. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings and Longitudinal Data," NBER Working Papers 9360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  15. James Heckman & Anne Layne-Farrar & Petra Todd, 1995. "Does Measured School Quality Really Matter? An Examination of the Earnings-Quality Relationship," NBER Working Papers 5274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kevin Milligan & Enrico Moretti & Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Does Education Improve Citizenship? Evidence from the U.S. and the U.K," NBER Working Papers 9584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Lang, Kevin & Kropp, David, 1986. "Human Capital versus Sorting: The Effects of Compulsory Attendance Laws," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 609-24, August.
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