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Students' Behavioural Responses to a Fallback Option: Evidence from Introducing Interim Degrees in German Schools

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  • Obergruber, Natalie
  • Zierow, Larissa

    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

Without a school degree, students can have difficulty in the labor market. To improve the lives of upper-secondary school dropouts, German states instituted a school reform that awarded an interim degree to high-track students upon completion of Grade 9. Using retrospective spell data on school and labor market careers from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), our difference-in-differences approach exploits the staggered implementation of this reform between 1965 and 1982. As intended, the reform reduced switching between school tracks. Surprisingly, it also increased successful high-track completion, university entrance rates, and later income, arguably by reducing the perceived risk of trying longer in the high-track school.

Suggested Citation

  • Obergruber, Natalie & Zierow, Larissa, 2018. "Students' Behavioural Responses to a Fallback Option: Evidence from Introducing Interim Degrees in German Schools," IZA Discussion Papers 11732, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11732
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    Cited by:

    1. Obergruber, Natalie & Zierow, Larissa, 2020. "Students’ behavioural responses to a fallback option - Evidence from introducing interim degrees in german schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    2. Elisabeth Grewenig, 2021. "School Track Decisions and Teacher Recommendations: Evidence from German State Reforms," ifo Working Paper Series 353, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    school dropout; school degree; school tracking;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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