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The Long-term Effects of School Quality on Labor Market Outcomes and Educational Attainment

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Dustmann

    (University College London)

  • Patrick A. Puhani

    (Leibniz Universität Hannover)

  • Uta Schönberg

    (University College London, Institute for Employment Research (IAB))

Abstract

We study the long-term causal effects of attending a "better" school - defined as one with more advanced peers, more highly paid teachers, and a more academic curriculum - on the highest degree completed, wages, occupational choice, and unemployment. We base our analysis on a regression discontinuity design, generated by a school entry age rule, that assigns students to different types of schools based on their date of birth. We find that, even though our case involves larger inter-school differences in peer quality and teaching curricula than in most previous studies, the long-term effect of school quality is very small and not significantly different from zero. This surprising finding is partly explainable by the substantial amount of student up- and downgrading between schools of varying quality at the end of middle school (age 15/16) and at the end of high school (age 18/19). This suggests that giving people a "second chance" during their education can make up for several years of schooling with a less challenging peer group and a less challenging teaching curriculum.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Dustmann & Patrick A. Puhani & Uta Schönberg, 2012. "The Long-term Effects of School Quality on Labor Market Outcomes and Educational Attainment," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1208, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1208
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    1. Gynnar en segregerad skola starka elever?
      by Jonas Vlachos in Ekonomistas on 2013-12-31 02:24:59

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    School quality; peer effects; regression discontinuity design;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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