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The Optimal Timing of School Tracking

  • Brunello, Giorgio


    (University of Padova)

  • Giannini, Massimo


    (University of Molise)

  • Ariga, Kenn


    (Kyoto University)

We develop a simple model which determines the optimal timing of school tracking as the outcome of the trade off between the advantages of specialization, which call for early tracking, and the costs of early selection, which lead to later tracking. We calibrate the model for Germany and study how relative demand shifts toward more general skills and changes in the (exogenous) rate of technical progress affect the optimal tracking time as well as the efficient allocation of students to general and vocational tracks.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 995.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: L. Woessmann and P. Petersen (eds.), Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem, MIT 2007, 129-156
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp995
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  1. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  2. Gust, Christopher & Marquez, Jaime, 2004. "International comparisons of productivity growth: the role of information technology and regulatory practices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 33-58, February.
  3. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 1998. "Ability Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth," Working Papers 98-14, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
  5. Dirk Krueger & Krishna B. Kumar, 2004. "Skill-Specific rather than General Education: A Reason for US--Europe Growth Differences?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 167-207, 06.
  6. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Jacob M. Markman & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Does Peer Ability Affect Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 8502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Nickell, S. & Layard, R., 1997. "Labour Market Institutions and Economic Performance," Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  8. Berman, Eli & Machin, Stephen, 2000. "Skill-Based Technology Transfer around the World," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 12-22, Autumn.
  9. Dennis Epple & Elizabeth Newlon & Richard Romano, 2000. "Ability Tracking, School Competition, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
  12. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:2:p:469-497 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Laura M. Argys & Daniel I. Rees & Dominic J. Brewer, 1996. "Detracking America's schools: Equity at zero cost?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 623-645.
  14. Betts, Julian R, 1998. "The Impact of Educational Standards on the Level and Distribution of Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 266-75, March.
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