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A Sorting Hat that Fails? The transition from primary to secondary school in Germany

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  • Sylke Schnepf

Abstract

Germany ranks lowest regarding educational equalities among OECD countries, as the recently published PISA ‘Programme of International Student Assessment’ data revealed (ref. PISA 2000). This might be due to the remarkable German transition process from primary to secondary school where children are selected into diversely prestigious school environments at an early stage of their intellectual development. This paper aims at examining whether sorting of children is leading to educational inequalities. Based on the two different surveys of learning achievement TIMSS (‘Third International Math and Science Study’) and PISA 2000 we find consistently that although ability is a main criterion of the sorting process, pupils' socio-economic background, their gender and the region they live in also exert a significant influence on the selection results. Since sorting is difficult to correct and school choice determines career options, these educational inequalities in secondary schooling very probably have an impact on pupils’ life even long after they have finished school.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylke Schnepf, 2002. "A Sorting Hat that Fails? The transition from primary to secondary school in Germany," Papers inwopa02/22, Innocenti Working Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucf:inwopa:inwopa02/22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Olga Cantó Sanchez & Magda Mercader-Prats, 1998. "Child Poverty in Spain: What can be said?," Papers iopeps98/24, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
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    8. Robert M. Hauser & Hsiang-Hui Daphne Kuo, 1998. "Does the Gender Composition of Sibships Affect Women's Educational Attainment?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 644-657.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lange, Simon & von Werder, Marten, 2016. "Tracking and the Intergenerational Transmission of Education: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145784, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Tamm, Marcus, 2008. "Does money buy higher schooling?: Evidence from secondary school track choice in Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 536-545, October.
    3. Michael Zibrowius, 2013. "Ethnic background and youth unemployment in Germany," Working Papers 138, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    4. repec:zbw:rwirep:0223 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Kiss, 2010. "Are Immigrants Graded Worse in Primary and Secondary Education? – Evidence for German Schools," Ruhr Economic Papers 0223, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; educational evaluation; educational policy; educational surveys;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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