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Does Money Buy Higher Schooling?: Evidence from Secondary School Track Choice in Germany

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  • Marcus Tamm

Abstract

The German schooling system selects children into different secondary school tracks already at a very early stage in life. School track choice heavily influences choices and opportunities later in life. It has often been observed that secondary schooling achievements display a strong correlation with parental income. We use sibling fixed effects models and information on a natural experiment in order to analyze whether this correlation is due to a causal effect of income or due to unobservable factors that themselves might be correlated across generations. Our main findings suggest that income has no positive causal effect on school choice and that differences between high- and low-income households are driven by unobserved heterogeneity, e.g. differences in motivation or preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Tamm, 2007. "Does Money Buy Higher Schooling?: Evidence from Secondary School Track Choice in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 41, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp41
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    Cited by:

    1. Piopiunik, Marc, 2014. "The effects of early tracking on student performance: Evidence from a school reform in Bavaria," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 12-33.
    2. María-Jesús Mancebón & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & Mauro Mediavilla & José-María Gómez-Sancho, 2015. "Does educational management model matter? New evidence for Spain by a quasiexperimental approach," Working Papers 2015/40, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    3. Osikominu, Aderonke & Pfeifer, Gregor & Strohmaier, Kristina, 2021. "The Effects of Free Secondary School Track Choice: A Disaggregated Synthetic Control Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 14033, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Marjan, MAES, 2008. "Poverty persistence among Belgian elderly in the transition from work to retirement : an empirical analysis," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2008042, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    5. Michael Bahrs & Thomas Siedler, 2019. "University Tuition Fees and High School Students’ Educational Intentions," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 40(2), pages 117-147, June.
    6. Landvoigt, Tim & Muehler, Grit & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2007. "Duration and Intensity of Kindergarten Attendance and Secondary School Track Choice," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-051, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    7. Cordero, José Manuel & Prior, Diego & Simancas Rodríguez, Rosa, 2013. "A comparison of public and private schools in Spain using robust nonparametric frontier methods," MPRA Paper 51375, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Boll, Christina & Hoffmann, Malte, 2015. "It's not all about parents' education, it also matters what they do: Parents' employment and children's school success in Germany," HWWI Research Papers 162, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    9. Wölfel, Oliver & Heineck, Guido, 2012. "Parental risk attitudes and children's secondary school track choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 727-743.
    10. Huebener, Mathias, 2015. "The role of paternal risk attitudes in long-run education outcomes and intergenerational mobility," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 64-79.
    11. Brehm, Johannes & Pestel, Nico & Schaffner, Sandra & Schmitz, Laura, 2022. "From low emission zone to academic track: Environmental policy effects on educational achievement in elementary school," Ruhr Economic Papers 980, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    12. Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse & Pia Pinger, 2020. "Mentoring and Schooling Decisions: Causal Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 8382, CESifo.
    13. Tamas Keller, 2015. "The Power of Family? The Change in Academic Achievement after Breakdown of the Biological Family," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 1504, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    14. Christian Raschke, 2012. "The Impact of the German Child Benefit on Child Well-Being," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 520, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    15. John, Katrin & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2015. "School-track environment or endowment: What determines different other-regarding behavior across peer groups?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 122-141.
    16. Zullo, Matteo, 2022. "(No) Trade-off between numeracy and verbal reasoning development: PISA evidence from Italy's academic tracking," Intelligence, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).
    17. Tamás Keller & Guido Neidhöfer, 2014. "Who Dares, Wins?: A Sibling Analysis of Tertiary Education Transition in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 713, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    18. Riphahn, Regina T. & Trübswetter, Parvati, 2011. "The intergenerational transmission of educational attainment in East and West Germany," IAB-Discussion Paper 201104, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    19. Yeasung Jeong & Ayoung Lee & Joonmo Cho, 2018. "Educational mismatches and job resolution in South Korea, the USA, and Germany," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, The Crawford School, The Australian National University, vol. 32(2), pages 95-108, November.
    20. Schildberg-Hoerisch, Hannah, 2011. "Does parental employment affect children's educational attainment?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1456-1467.
    21. Maes, Marjan, 2008. "Poverty persistence among Belgian elderly: true or spurious?," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-24, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    22. Biewen, Martin & Tapalaga, Madalina, 2017. "Life-cycle educational choices in a system with early tracking and ‘second chance’ options," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 80-94.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child poverty; educational attainment; secondary schools; sibling differences; natural experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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