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General versus vocational education: Lessons from a quasi-experiment in Croatia

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  • Zilic, Ivan

Abstract

This paper identifies the causal effect an educational reform implemented in Croatia in 1975/76 and 1977/78 had on educational and labor market outcomes. High-school education was split into two phases which resulted in reduced tracking, extended general curriculum for students attending vocational training, and an attachment of a vocational context to general high-school programs. Exploiting the rules on elementary school entry and timing of the reform, we use a regression discontinuity design and pooled Labor Force Surveys 2000–2012 to analyze the effect of the reform on educational attainment and labor market outcomes. We observe heterogeneity of the effects of the reform across gender, as for males we find that the probability of completing high school as well as the probability of completing university education decreased, while for females we do not observe any adverse effects. We explain this heterogeneity via different selection into schooling for males and females. The reform did not positively affect individuals’ labor market prospects; therefore, we conclude that the observed general-vocational wage differential is mainly driven by self-selection into the type of high school.

Suggested Citation

  • Zilic, Ivan, 2018. "General versus vocational education: Lessons from a quasi-experiment in Croatia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-11.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:1-11
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.10.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Sönke Hendrik Matthewes & Guglielmo Ventura, 2022. "On Track to Success? Returns to vocational education against different alternatives," CVER Research Papers 038, Centre for Vocational Education Research.
    2. Neyt, Brecht & Verhaest, Dieter & Baert, Stijn, 2020. "The impact of dual apprenticeship programmes on early labour market outcomes: A dynamic approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    3. Canaan, Serena, 2020. "The long-run effects of reducing early school tracking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    4. Ollikainen, Jani-Petteri & Karhunen, Hannu, 2021. "A tale of two trade-offs: Effects of opening pathways from vocational to higher education," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 205(C).
    5. Neyt, Brecht & Verhaest, Dieter & Baert, Stijn, 2019. "The Impact of Internship Experience During Secondary Education on Schooling and Labour Market Outcomes," GLO Discussion Paper Series 425, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Steve Machin & Sandra McNally & Camille Terrier & Guglielmo Ventura, 2020. "Closing the Gap between Vocational and General Education? Evidence from University Technical Colleges in England," CESifo Working Paper Series 8678, CESifo.
    7. Celeste K. Carruthers & Christopher Jepsen, 2020. "Vocational Education: An International Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 8718, CESifo.
    8. Kemper, Johanna & Renold, Ursula, 2024. "Evaluating the impact of general versus vocational education on labor market outcomes in Egypt by means of a regression discontinuity design," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 166(C).
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Magne Mogstad & Jack Mountjoy, 2021. "Improving Educational Pathways to Social Mobility: Evidence from Norway’s Reform 94," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(4), pages 965-1010.
    10. Sönke Hendrik Matthewes & Guglielmo Ventura, 2022. "On Track to Success? Returns to Vocational Education Against Different Alternatives," CEPA Discussion Papers 58, Center for Economic Policy Analysis.
    11. Bellés Obrero, Cristina & Duchini, Emma, 2020. "Who Benefits from General Knowledge?," IZA Discussion Papers 12995, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Huzeyfe Torun & Semih Tumen, 2019. "Do vocational high school graduates have better employment outcomes than general high school graduates?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, vol. 40(8), pages 1364-1388, August.
    13. Bellés-Obrero, Cristina & Duchini, Emma, 2021. "Who benefits from general knowledge?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 85(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    General education; Vocational training; Reform;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • P20 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Socialist and Transition Economies - - - General

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