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"I wish I knew ..." - Misperceived Ability, School Track Counseling Services and Performances in Upper Secondary Education

Author

Listed:
  • Bernardi, Martino

    () (Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli)

  • Bratti, Massimiliano

    () (University of Milan)

  • De Simone, Gianfranco

    () (Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli)

Abstract

Previous research shows that, in tracked school systems, enrollment decisions are strongly associated with future outcomes both in education and on the labour market. Yet few studies explicitly investigate whether students (and their parents) have all the relevant information they need to make proper decisions. We address this issue by exploiting the data collected within the Arianna Project, an independent school track counseling service run by the municipality of a large city in Northern Italy (Turin). Virtually all students in the final year of lower secondary education participate into the program and they receive advices based on standardized cognitive and non-cognitive tests. Our dataset is uniquely enriched by information on students' pre-test enrollment intentions, their final track choices and their performances in the upper secondary school. We show that students' enrollment intentions are very often inconsistent with their actual potential as revealed by Arianna. However, students (and their parents) are likely to revise their initial choice when new information on their true abilities is made available to them. Moreover, we find that students who eventually make track choices in line with Arianna's suggestions are less likely to be retained in the first year of the upper secondary education.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernardi, Martino & Bratti, Massimiliano & De Simone, Gianfranco, 2014. ""I wish I knew ..." - Misperceived Ability, School Track Counseling Services and Performances in Upper Secondary Education," IZA Discussion Papers 7940, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7940
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniele Checchi & Luca Flabbi, 2013. "Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 3, pages 7-57, July-Sept.
    2. De Simone, Gianfranco, 2013. "Render unto primary the things which are primary's: Inherited and fresh learning divides in Italian lower secondary education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 12-23.
    3. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Checchi, 2007. "Does school tracking affect equality of opportunity? New international evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 781-861, October.
    4. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Lucifora, Claudio, 2009. "The "Bologna Process" and college enrollment decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 638-647, December.
    5. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
    6. Checchi, Daniele & Fiorio, Carlo V. & Leonardi, Marco, 2013. "Intergenerational persistence of educational attainment in Italy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 229-232.
    7. Cinnirella, Francesco & Piopiunik, Marc & Winter, Joachim, 2011. "Why does height matter for educational attainment? Evidence from German children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 407-418.
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    Cited by:

    1. Davide Azzolini & Loris Vergolini, 2014. "Tracking, Inequality and Education Policy. Looking for a Recipe for the Italian Case," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2014-08, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
    2. Feron, Eva & Schils, Trudie & ter Weel, Bas, 2015. "Does the Teacher Beat the Test? The Additional Value of Teacher Assessment in Predicting Student Ability," IZA Discussion Papers 8768, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    grade retention; information; school track choice; ability;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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