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Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance

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  • Huebener, Mathias
  • Marcus, Jan

Abstract

Is it possible to compress instruction time into fewer school years without lowering education levels? A fundamental reform in Germany reduced the length of academic track schooling by one year, while increasing instruction hours in the remaining school years to provide students with a very similar core curriculum and the same overall instruction time. Using aggregated administrative data on the full population of students, we find that the reform increases grade repetition rates and lowers final grade point averages, without affecting graduation rates. The results suggest adverse reform effects on student performance, but the economic significance of the effects appears moderate.

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  • Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:1-14
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.03.003
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    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:15-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Quis, Johanna Sophie & Reif, Simon, 2017. "Health effects of instruction intensity: Evidence from a natural experiment in German high-schools," BERG Working Paper Series 123, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    3. Stephan L. Thomsen, 2015. "The impacts of shortening secondary school duration," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 166-166, July.
    4. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 15-34.
    5. Franz Westermaier, 2016. "The Impact of Lengthening the School Day on Substance Abuse and Crime: Evidence from a German High School Reform," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1616, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:35-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Dörsam, Michael & Lauber, Verena, 2015. "The Effect of a Compressed High School Curriculum on University Performance," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 140876, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Sarah Cattan & Daniel A. Kamhöfer & Martin Karlsson & Therese Nilsson, 2017. "The short- and long-term effects of student absence: evidence from Sweden," IFS Working Papers W17/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    9. Jan Marcus & Vaishali Zambre, 2016. "The Effect of Increasing Education Efficiency on University Enrollment: Evidence from Administrative Data and an Unusual Schooling Reform in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1613, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Cattan, Sarah & Kamhöfer, Daniel A. & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2017. "The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Student Absence: Evidence from Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10995, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Dahmann, Sarah C., 2017. "How does education improve cognitive skills? Instructional time versus timing of instruction," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 35-47.
    12. Mathias Huebener & Jan Marcus, 2015. "Empirische Befunde zu Auswirkungen der G8-Schulzeitverkürzung," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 57, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Meyer, Tobias & Thomsen, Stephan L. & Schneider, Heidrun, 2015. "New Evidence on the Effects of the Shortened School Duration in the German States: An Evaluation of Post-Secondary Education Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 9507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Hofmann, Sarah & Mühlenweg, Andrea, 2017. "Learning Intensity Effects in Students' Mental and Physical Health - Evidence from a Large Scale Natural Experiment in Germany," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-622, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    15. Cattan, Sarah & Kamhofer, Daniel A. & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2017. "The Short- and Long-term Effects of Student Absence: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 1188, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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    Keywords

    Instruction time; Student performance; G8 education reform; Difference-in-differences; Wild cluster bootstrap;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation

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