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Are We Spending Too Many Years in School? Causal Evidence of the Impact of Shortening Secondary School Duration

Author

Listed:
  • Bettina Büttner

    () (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)

  • Stephan Thomsen

    () (Faculty of Economics and Management, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of shortening the duration of secondary schooling on the accumulation of human capital. In 2003, an educational policy reform was enacted in Saxony-Anhalt, a German state, providing a natural experimental setting. The thirteenth year of schooling was eliminated for those students currently attending the ninth grade. Tenth grade students were unaffected. The academic curriculum remained almost unaltered. Primary data collected from the double cohort of 2007 Abitur graduates reveals signficantly negative effects for both genders in mathematics. Only females were negatively effected in English and the results obtained in German literature were statistically insignificant.

Suggested Citation

  • Bettina Büttner & Stephan Thomsen, 2010. "Are We Spending Too Many Years in School? Causal Evidence of the Impact of Shortening Secondary School Duration," FEMM Working Papers 100008, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:mag:wpaper:100008
    as

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    File URL: http://www.ww.uni-magdeburg.de/fwwdeka/femm/a2010_Dateien/2010_08.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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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    5. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 433-464.
    6. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
    7. Vegard Skirbekk, 2006. "Does School Duration Affect Student Performance? Findings from Canton-Based Variation in Swiss Educational Length," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(I), pages 115-145, March.
    8. Julien Grenet, 2013. "Is Extending Compulsory Schooling Alone Enough to Raise Earnings? Evidence from French and British Compulsory Schooling Laws," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, pages 176-210.
    9. Oosterbeek, Hessel & Webbink, Dinand, 2007. "Wage effects of an extra year of basic vocational education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 408-419, August.
    10. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 607-668.
    11. Harry Krashinsky, 2014. "How Would One Extra Year of High School Affect Academic Performance in University? Evidence from an Educational Policy Change," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(1), pages 70-97, February.
    12. Andrea M. Mühlenweg & Patrick A. Puhani, 2010. "The Evolution of the School-Entry Age Effect in a School Tracking System," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
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    14. Marcotte, Dave E., 2007. "Schooling and test scores: A mother-natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 629-640, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1-14.
    2. Dahmann, Sarah & Anger, Silke, 2014. "The Impact of Education on Personality: Evidence from a German High School Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 8139, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Meyer, Tobias & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2012. "How Important is Secondary School Duration for Post-school Education Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-509, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    4. Franz Westermaier, 2016. "The Impact of Lengthening the School Day on Substance Abuse and Crime: Evidence from a German High School Reform," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1616, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Jan Kluge & Michael Weber, 2015. "Decomposing the German East-West wage gap," ifo Working Paper Series 205, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    6. Hendrik Thiel & Stephan L. Thomsen & Bettina Büttner, 2014. "Variation of learning intensity in late adolescence and the effect on personality traits," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 177(4), pages 861-892, October.
    7. Jens Mohrenweiser & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2016. "Zur Entwicklung der studienspezifischen Selbstwirksamkeit in der Oberstufe
      [The development of study-specific self-efficacy during grammar school]
      ," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 49(1), pages 77-95, July.
    8. Quis, Johanna Sophie, 2015. "Does higher learning intensity affect student well-being? Evidence from the National Educational Panel Study," BERG Working Paper Series 94, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    9. Tobias Meyer & Stephan L. Thomsen, 2016. "How Important Is Secondary School Duration for Postsecondary Education Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(1), pages 67-108.
    10. Mathias Huebener & Jan Marcus, 2015. "Empirische Befunde zu Auswirkungen der G8-Schulzeitverkürzung," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 57, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    student performance; school duration; learning intensity; natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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