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Are we spending too many years in school? Causal evidence of the impact of shortening secondary school duration

  • Büttner, Bettina
  • Thomsen, Stephan L.

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. Using primary data from the double cohort of Abitur graduates in 2007, significant negative effects were discovered for both genders in mathematics and for females only in English. The effects on literature were not statistically significant.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 10-011.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10011
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  1. Aksoy, Tevfik & Link, Charles R., 2000. "A panel analysis of student mathematics achievement in the US in the 1990s: does increasing the amount of time in learning activities affect math achievement?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 261-277, June.
  2. 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, vol. 115(1), pages 176-210, 01.
  3. 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.
  4. Jorn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2005. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling In Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," NBER Working Papers 11414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Lee, J.-W. & Barro, R.J., 1998. "Schooling Quality in a Cross Section of Countries," Papers 659, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  7. Eric Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Discussion Papers 07-034, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. Ozkan Eren & Daniel J. Henderson, 2008. "The impact of homework on student achievement," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 11(2), pages 326-348, 07.
  9. Thomas Fuchs & Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "What accounts for international differences in student performance? A re-examination using PISA data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 433-464, May.
  10. 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.
  11. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School and Racial Test Score Gaps," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  12. Eric A. Hanushek, 2005. "The Economics of School Quality," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 269-286, 08.
  13. Marcotte, Dave E., 2007. "Schooling and test scores: A mother-natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 629-640, October.
  14. 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.
  15. 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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