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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," RF Berlin - CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1208, Rockwool Foundation Berlin (RF Berlin) - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM).
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1208
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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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    2. Philip Yang, 2015. "The impact of music on educational attainment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 39(4), pages 369-396, November.

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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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    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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