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Effects of the Bologna Reform on educational outcomes: Micro evidence from Germany

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  • Hahm, Sabrina
  • Kluve, Jochen

Abstract

The Bologna Process aimed at harmonizing European higher education systems and at increasing their efficiency. This paper analyzes impacts of the Bologna Reform for Germany by using unique micro data from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). We estimate treatment effects on the probability to graduate within instructional time, on standardized study duration, and on final overall grades. Variation in treatment introduction over time and across departments generates exogenous assignment of students into a treatment (Bachelor) and control group (Diploma). We account for potentially remaining selection bias by estimating a 2SLS model using the share of firstyear Bachelor students among all students as an instrument. Our empirical results are robust across specifications and sample stratifications and indicate the following: the Bologna reform led to a significant and sizeable increase in the probability of graduating within planned instructional time; it also significantly decreased standardized study duration. At the same time, overall final grades are significantly worse in the treatment group.

Suggested Citation

  • Hahm, Sabrina & Kluve, Jochen, 2016. "Effects of the Bologna Reform on educational outcomes: Micro evidence from Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 639, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:639
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    1. repec:oup:cesifo:v:54:y:2008:i:2:p:229-247. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wiji Arulampalam & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2004. "A hazard model of the probability of medical school drop-out in the UK," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 167(1), pages 157-178.
    3. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Lucifora, Claudio, 2009. "The "Bologna Process" and college enrollment decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 638-647, December.
    4. Lydia Mechtenberg & Roland Strausz, 2008. "The Bologna process: how student mobility affects multi-cultural skills and educational quality," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(2), pages 109-130, April.
    5. Di Pietro, Giorgio & Cutillo, Andrea, 2008. "Degree flexibility and university drop-out: The Italian experience," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 546-555, October.
    6. Ana Rute Cardoso, 2008. "Demand for Higher Education Programs: The Impact of the Bologna Process," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 54(2), pages 229-247, June.
    7. Julia Horstschräer & Maresa Sprietsma, 2015. "The effects of the introduction of Bachelor degrees on college enrollment and dropout rates," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 296-317, June.
    8. G. Boero & T. Laureti & R. Naylor, 2005. "An econometric analysis of student withdrawal and progression in post-reform Italian Universities," Working Paper CRENoS 200504, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bologna process; education policy; university reform; impact analysis; instrumental variables;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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