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Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages

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  • Christian Dustmann

Abstract

The way parents take influence on the education of their children is a crucial aspect of intergenerational mobility. Unlike in the UK or in the US, in Germany an important decision about which educational track to follow is made at a relatively early stage: after primary school, at the age of ten. In this paper, we use micro data to analyse the association between parents' education and profession, and secondary track school choice and subsequent career prospects of the child. Our analysis covers the last six decades. We demonstrate that parental background is strongly related to the secondary track choice of the child, and subsequent educational achievements. We find a slight convergence for individuals from different parental background over the last decades. We also find a positive trend for females to follow higher secondary school tracks, keeping parental background constant. The association between parental class and educational choice translates into substantial earnings differentials later in life. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:56:y:2004:i:2:p:209-230
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gpf048
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