Incentives for Schools, Educational Signals and Labour Market Outcomes
Central exams have been discussed as an incentive to improve educational outcomes. In our paper we study the impact of central exams on labor market outcomes. We explain the quality choice of schools under central and non-central exams and model the resulting students’ schooling decisions and employers’ wage decisions. We use the German Abitur and the variation among the German federal states with respect to central exams as a quasi experimental design. We expect the ratio of Abitur holders to increase in states without central exams and their wage premiums to decrease at the same time. In states with central exams these effects should not occur. We test our implications with official statistics on education and with the GSOEP. The first two implications are born out in the data. Finally, explanations and policy recommendations are discussed.
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