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Educational Opportunities and the Role of Institutions


  • Ammermüller, Andreas


Educational opportunities determine the intergenerational mobility of human capital and are affected by institutional features of schooling systems. The aim of this paper is twofold. It intends to show how strongly student performance depends on student background at two important stages in a student?s life as well as to explain cross-country differences in educational opportunities by schooling institutions. A difference-in-differences estimation approach is applied to control for country-specific effects. The results imply that educational opportunities decrease with student age in most countries. However, the attitude of parents seems to become more important while the impact of social origin decreases. A greater differentiation of the schooling system as indicated by streaming and private schools is associated with a greater effect of social background while more instruction time limits the impact of social origin on student performance. Higher school autonomy increases the impact of parental influence.

Suggested Citation

  • Ammermüller, Andreas, 2005. "Educational Opportunities and the Role of Institutions," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-44, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:3287

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    Cited by:

    1. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Mathias Sinning & Steven Stillman, 2011. "Migrant Youths' Educational Achievement: The Role of Institutions," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n25, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    2. Nicole Schneeweis & Martina Zweimüller, 2014. "Early Tracking and the Misfortune of Being Young," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(2), pages 394-428, April.
    3. Jakubowski, Maciej & Pokropek, Artur, 2015. "Reading achievement progress across countries," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 77-88.
    4. Ludger Wößmann, 2007. "Fundamental Determinants of School Efficiency and Equity: German States as a Microcosm for OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1981, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Chaga Lopes, Margarida & Fernandes, Graca, 2010. "Success/Failure in Higher Education:how long does it take to complete some core 1st. year disciplines?," MPRA Paper 21953, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Ludger Wößmann, 2008. "Efficiency and equity of European education and training policies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(2), pages 199-230, April.
    7. Ammermüller, Andreas & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2006. "Peer Effects in European Primary Schools: Evidence from PIRLS," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-027, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Giorgio Brunello & Daniele Checchi, 2007. "Does school tracking affect equality of opportunity? New international evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 781-861, October.
    9. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    10. Korthals, R.A., 2012. "Selection and tracking in secondary education : a cross country analysis of student performance and educational opportunities," Research Memorandum 049, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    11. Mühlenweg, Andrea Maria, 2007. "Educational Effects of Early or Later Secondary School Tracking in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-079, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    12. Dronkers, Jaap & van der Velden, Rolf & Dunne, Allison, 2011. "Why are migrant students better off in certain types of educational systems or schools than in others?," MPRA Paper 37261, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. 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).
    14. Dronkers Jaap & Velden Rolf van der & Dunne Allison, 2011. "The effects of educational systems, school-composition, track-level, parental background and immigrants’ origins on the achievement of 15-years old native and immigrant students. A reanalysis of PIS," ROA Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    15. Kristian Koerselman, 2009. "Anticipatory effects of curriculum tracking," Discussion Papers 47, Aboa Centre for Economics.
    16. Massimiliano Bratti & Daniele Checchi & Antonio Filippin, 2011. "Should you compete or cooperate with your schoolmates?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 275-289.
    17. Nicole Schneeweis, 2011. "Educational institutions and the integration of migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1281-1308, October.
    18. Woessmann Ludger, 2010. "Institutional Determinants of School Efficiency and Equity: German States as a Microcosm for OECD Countries," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(2), pages 234-270, April.
    19. Birkenfeld, Florian & Hanafy, Shima'a, 2008. "Wie zentral sind die Abschlussprüfungen an deutschen Schulen wirklich?," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-55-08, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    20. Holmlund, Helena, 2006. "Intergenerational Mobility and Assortative Mating. Effects of an Educational Reform," Working Paper Series 4/2006, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    21. Gabriela Schütz, 2009. "Educational institutions and equality of opportunity," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 34, November.
    22. Lopes, Margarida & Fernandes, Graca, 2011. "Formal, non-formal and informal learning and higher education graduates' reemployment: evidence for Portugal," MPRA Paper 34445, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Equality of educational opportunity; student performance; institutions; PISA; PIRLS;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion


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