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The Effects of a High School Curriculum Reform on University Enrollment and the Choice of College Major

Author

Listed:
  • Görlitz, Katja

    (Hochschule der Bundesagentur für Arbeit (HdBA))

  • Gravert, Christina

    (University of Gothenburg)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effects of a high school curriculum reform on students' probability to enroll at university and to choose Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) as college major. The reform that was introduced in one German state increased the degree of difficulty to graduate from high school by increasing the mandatory instruction time in the core subjects German, a foreign language, mathematics and natural sciences and by raising the graduation requirements. Based on administrative data covering all students, the empirical analysis is carried out by applying a difference-in-differences model. The results show that the reform increased university enrollment rates for both gender. With regard to choosing STEM as college major, we only find a robust positive effect for males.

Suggested Citation

  • Görlitz, Katja & Gravert, Christina, 2015. "The Effects of a High School Curriculum Reform on University Enrollment and the Choice of College Major," IZA Discussion Papers 8983, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8983
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    Cited by:

    1. Görlitz, Katja & Gravert, Christina, 2015. "The Effects of Increasing the Standards of the High School Curriculum on School Dropout," IZA Discussion Papers 8766, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Marta De Philippis, 2016. "STEM Graduates and Secondary School Curriculum: Does Early Exposure to Science Matter?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1443, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Joan Costa-i-Font & Jorge García-Hombrados & Anna Nicińska, 2020. "Long-Lasting Effects of Communist Indoctrination in School: Evidence from Poland," CESifo Working Paper Series 8766, CESifo.
    4. Biewen, Martin & Schwerter, Jakob, 2019. "Does More Math in High School Increase the Share of Female STEM Workers? Evidence from a Curriculum Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 12236, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Mcnally, Sandra, 2020. "Gender differences in tertiary education: what explains STEM participation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108232, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Berggren, Andrea & Jeppsson, Louise, 2021. "The Impact of Upper Secondary School Flexibility on Sorting and Educational Outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    7. Jan Marcus & Vaishali Zambre, 2019. "The Effect of Increasing Education Efficiency on University Enrollment: Evidence from Administrative Data and an Unusual Schooling Reform in Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(2), pages 468-502.
    8. Joaquín, 2018. "Educación artística, elección de bachillerato y capacidades. Efecto de la creación del bachillerato artístico en la matrícula universitaria," Documentos de Investigacion Estudiantil (students working papers) 18-03, Instituto de Economia - IECON.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    high school curriculum; university educational decisions; reform evaluation; the choice of college major; STEM;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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