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The effects of school entry laws on educational attainment and starting wages in an early tracking system

  • Martina Zweimüller

Empirical evidence suggests that relative age, which is determined by date of birth and the school entry cutoff date, has a causal effect on track choice. Using a sample of male labor market entrants drawn from Austrian register data, I analyze whether the initial assignment to different school tracks has persistent effects on educational attainment and earnings in the first years of the career. I estimate the reduced-form effect of the school entry law on starting wages and find a wage penalty of 1.1–2.0 percent for students born in August (the youngest) compared to students born in September (the oldest). The analysis of educational attainment suggests that significant differences in the type of education exist. Younger students are more likely to pursue an apprenticeship and less likely to have higher education. After five years of labor market experience, the wage penalty amounts to 0.8–1.1 percent, suggesting a persistent (albeit decreasing) negative effect of the school entry rule on labor market outcomes in an early tracking system.

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Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2013-05.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2013_05
Contact details of provider: Postal: NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz
Phone: +43-732-2468-8216
Fax: +43-732-2468-8217
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  1. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
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  13. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Kerr, Sari, 2009. "School tracking and intergenerational income mobility: Evidence from the Finnish comprehensive school reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 965-973, August.
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  16. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Lipscomb, Stephen, 2008. "What makes a leader? Relative age and high school leadership," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 173-183, April.
  17. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2011. "School Tracking and Access to Higher Education Among Disadvantaged Groups," NBER Working Papers 16914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Caroline Hall, 2012. "The Effects of Reducing Tracking in Upper Secondary School: Evidence from a Large-Scale Pilot Scheme," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(1), pages 237-269.
  19. Marco Manacorda, 2008. "The Cost of Grade Retention," CEP Discussion Papers dp0878, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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  21. Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian social security database," IEW - Working Papers 410, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    • Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian Social Security Database," NRN working papers 2009-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
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