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The effects of a high school curriculum reform on university enrollment and the choice of college major

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  • Görlitz, Katja
  • Gravert, Christina

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effects of a high school curriculum reform on students´ probability to enroll at university and to choose Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) as college major. The reform that was introduced in one German state increased the degree of difficulty to graduate from high school by increasing the mandatory instruction time in the core subjects German, a foreign language, mathematics and natural sciences and by raising the graduation requirements. Based on administrative data covering all students, the empirical analysis is carried out by applying a difference-in-differences model. The results show that the reform increased university enrollment rates for both gender. With regard to choosing STEM as college major, we only find a robust positive effect for males.

Suggested Citation

  • Görlitz, Katja & Gravert, Christina, 2015. "The effects of a high school curriculum reform on university enrollment and the choice of college major," Discussion Papers 2015/13, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201513
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Görlitz, Katja & Gravert, Christina, 2015. "The effects of increasing the standards of the high school curriculum on school dropout," Discussion Papers 2015/1, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    2. Marta De Philippis, 2016. "STEM Graduates and Secondary School Curriculum: Does Early Exposure to Science Matter?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1443, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Jan Marcus & Vaishali Zambre, 2016. "The Effect of Increasing Education Efficiency on University Enrollment: Evidence from Administrative Data and an Unusual Schooling Reform in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1613, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    high school curriculum; university educational decisions; the choice of college major; STEM; reform evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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