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

  • Marcus Tamm

    ()

    (RWI Essen and Ruhr-University Bochum)

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.

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File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2007-58.pdf
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Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 58.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2007-58
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ecineq.org
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  1. Francesconi, Marco & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Siedler, Thomas, 2005. "Childhood family structure and schooling outcomes: evidence for Germany," ISER Working Paper Series 2005-22, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  4. Michael Fertig & Marcus Tamm & Miles Corak, 2005. "A Portrait of Child Poverty in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 0026, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  5. Corak, Miles & Fertig, Michael & Tamm, Marcus, 2005. "A Portrait of Child Poverty in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 26, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI).
  6. Eric I. Knudsen & James J. Heckman & Judy L. Cameron & Jack P. Shonkoff, 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce," NBER Working Papers 12298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  8. Stephen P. Jenkins & Christian Schluter, 2002. "The Effect of Family Income during Childhood on Later-life Attainment: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 317, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Thorsten Schneider, 2004. "Der Einfluss des Einkommens der Eltern auf die Schulwahl," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 446, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  10. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  11. Bauer, Thomas K. & Gang, Ira N., 2000. "Sibling Rivalry in Educational Attainment: The German Case," IZA Discussion Papers 180, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
  13. Sylke Schnepf, 2002. "A Sorting Hat that Fails? The transition from primary to secondary school in Germany," Papers inwopa02/22, Innocenti Working Papers.
  14. Richard Williams, 2006. "Generalized ordered logit/partial proportional odds models for ordinal dependent variables," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(1), pages 58-82, March.
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