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Selection and tracking in secondary education; A cross country analysis of student performance and educational opportunities

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  • Korthals, R.A.

    (Macro, International & Labour Economics)

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of tracking in secondary school on student performance and educational opportunities, taking into account whether prior performance is considered when students are selected in the different tracks. The sample consists of data from the Programme for International Student Assessment 2009 for around 185,000 students in 31 comparable countries. The results are controlled for student- and school-level confounders. The results indicate that when tracking is implemented, it does not have a direct relation with performance. However, system and school interactions reveal that a highly differentiated system is best for student performance when schools always take into account prior performance to decide on student acceptance. In systems with a fewtracks, admission rules have less of an impact and tracking is only mildly associated with performance. Equality of opportunity is best provided for in a system with many tracks, especially when schools always consider entrance requirements. However, caution is warranted in interpreting these results since selection issues could play a role.
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Suggested Citation

  • Korthals, R.A., 2013. "Selection and tracking in secondary education; A cross country analysis of student performance and educational opportunities," Research Memorandum 054, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umagsb:2013054
    DOI: 10.26481/umagsb.2013054
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    Cited by:

    1. Esser, Hartmut & Relikowski, Ilona, 2015. "Is Ability Tracking (Really) Responsible for Educational Inequalities in Achievement? A Comparison between the Country States Bavaria and Hesse in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 9082, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Tamás Keller, 2018. "Dare to Dream: A Vignette Survey on Self-Selection in Secondary Education Track Choice," Sociological Research Online, , vol. 23(2), pages 354-373, June.
    3. Korthals, R.A., 2015. "The pre-tracking effects of parental background," ROA Research Memorandum 005, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    4. Borghans, By Lex & Diris, Ron & Smits, Wendy & de Vries, Jannes, 2020. "Should we sort it out later? The effect of tracking age on long-run outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    5. Jaap Dronkers & Roxanne-Amanda Korthals, 2015. "Tracking, schools’ entrance requirements and the educational performance of migrant students," ImPRovE Working Papers 15/08, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

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    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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