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The Enrollment Effect of Secondary School Fees in Post-War Germany


  • Riphahn, Regina T.

    () (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)


This study utilizes the heterogeneity of the fee abolition for West German secondary schools to identify its effect on enrollment and to obtain an estimate of the price elasticity of demand for education. The analysis is based on administrative school enrollment statistics as well as on representative individual-level data from three annual surveys of the German Mikrozensus. Estimates suggest that enrollment in Advanced Schools increased by about six percent due to the fee abolition, where the results are sensitive to the specification choice. The positive enrollment effect of fee abolition for women exceeds that for men. A fifty percent reduction in fees is associated with an overall change in enrollment rates by 3 percent, where the elasticity of the demand for females' education again exceeds that for males'.

Suggested Citation

  • Riphahn, Regina T., 2004. "The Enrollment Effect of Secondary School Fees in Post-War Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1295, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1295

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aakvik, Arild & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Vaage, Kjell, 2003. "Measuring Heterogeneity in the Returns to Education in Norway Using Educational Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 815, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    7. Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2007. "The Impact of Length of the School Year on Student Performance and Earnings: Evidence From the German Short School Years," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1216-1242, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Machin & Patrick A. Puhani, 2005. "Special Issue on the Economics of Education - Policies and Empirical Evidence: Editorial," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 259-267, August.

    More about this item


    demand for education; enrollment; tuition; school fees; natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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