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How Important Is Secondary School Duration for Postsecondary Education Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

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  • Tobias Meyer
  • Stephan L. Thomsen

Abstract

To enable earlier graduation, most German states have abolished the final year of secondary schooling while leaving the curriculum unchanged. We evaluate how this reform affects postsecondary education decisions using primary data from the state of Saxony-Anhalt. In this state, the reform was implemented in a very short time, providing a natural experiment. The results show heterogeneous effects according to gender. Females delay university enrollment and are more likely to start vocational education. The reform also changes the pattern of university subject choice. These findings can be attributed to an orientation effect and a performance effect inherent in the reform effect.

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  • Tobias Meyer & Stephan L. Thomsen, 2016. "How Important Is Secondary School Duration for Postsecondary Education Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(1), pages 67-108.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:doi:10.1086/684017
    DOI: 10.1086/684017
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    Cited by:

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    2. Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-14.
    3. Hofmann, Sarah & Mühlenweg, Andrea, 2018. "Learning intensity effects in students’ mental and physical health – Evidence from a large scale natural experiment in Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 216-234.
    4. Thomsen, Stephan L. & Trunzer, Johannes, 2020. "Did the Bologna Process Challenge the German Apprenticeship System? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," GLO Discussion Paper Series 690, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Emmanuel Adu Boahen & Kwadwo Opoku & Simone Schotte, 2021. "Duration of Pre‐university Education and Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Quasi‐experiment in Ghana," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(1), pages 208-232, January.
    6. Stöver, Britta, 2017. "Empirical evidence in explaining the transition behaviour from school to studies - challenges in forecasting the number of first-year students in Germany," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-596, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    7. Marcus, Jan & Reif, Simon & Wuppermann, Amélie & Rouche, Amélie, 2020. "Increased instruction time and stress-related health problems among school children," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    8. Michael Doersam & Verena Lauber, 2019. "The Effect of a Compressed High School Curriculum on University Performance," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2019-03, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    9. Quis, Johanna Sophie & Mehl, Simon, 2018. "Health Effects of Instruction Intensity: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in German High-Schools," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181619, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Jan Marcus & Vaishali Zambre, 2019. "The Effect of Increasing Education Efficiency on University Enrollment: Evidence from Administrative Data and an Unusual Schooling Reform in Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(2), pages 468-502.
    11. Camarero Garcia, Sebastian, 2022. "Inequality of Educational Opportunities and the Role of Learning Intensity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    12. Britta Stoever, 2017. "The transition behaviour from school to studies – Empirical evidence on the reasons of a delayed start of studies in Germany," EcoMod2017 10220, EcoMod.

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