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Does the timing of tracking affect higher education completion?

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  • van Elk, Roel
  • van der Steeg, Marc
  • Webbink, Dinand

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of the timing of tracking on completion of higher education by exploiting unique variation from the Dutch education system. At the age of 12 Dutch students can enrol in tracked schools or in comprehensive schools. The comprehensive schools postpone enrolment into tracked classes by one or two years. OLS- and IV-estimates, using regional variation in the supply of schools as instruments, show that early tracking has a detrimental effect on completion of higher education for students at the margin of the Dutch high and low tracks. The negative effects of early tracking are larger for students with relatively high ability or students with a higher socioeconomic background. In addition, we find no negative effects of comprehensive classes on higher ability students. These results suggest that increasing participation in comprehensive classes would increase graduation from higher education.

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  • van Elk, Roel & van der Steeg, Marc & Webbink, Dinand, 2011. "Does the timing of tracking affect higher education completion?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1009-1021, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:5:p:1009-1021
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    2. Xavier Ramos Morilla & Luciana Méndez Errico, 2019. "Selection and educational attainment: Why some children are left behind? Evidence from a middle-income country," Working Papers wpdea1901, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    3. Wölfel, Oliver & Heineck, Guido, 2012. "Parental risk attitudes and children's secondary school track choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 727-743.
    4. Korthals, R.A., 2012. "Selection and tracking in secondary education: a cross country analysis of student performance and educational opportunities," ROA Research Memorandum 14, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    5. Bauer, Philipp C. & Riphahn, Regina T., 2013. "Institutional determinants of intergenerational education transmission — Comparing alternative mechanisms for natives and immigrants," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 110-122.
    6. R. A. Korthals & J. Dronkers, 2016. "Selection on performance and tracking," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(30), pages 2836-2851, June.
    7. Borghans, By Lex & Diris, Ron & Smits, Wendy & de Vries, Jannes, 2020. "Should we sort it out later? The effect of tracking age on long-run outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).

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