Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks

65 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2007

See all articles by Daniele Checchi

Daniele Checchi

Università degli Studi di Milano - Dipartimento di Economia Politica e Aziendale (DEPA); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; IRVAPP

Luca Flabbi

RES - Inter-American Development Bank; Georgetown University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

Intergenerational mobility in income and education is affected by the influence of parents on children's school choices. Our focus is on the role played by different school systems in reducing or magnifying the impact of parents on children's school choices and therefore on intergenerational mobility in general. We compare two apparently similar educational systems, Italy and Germany, to see how the common feature of separate tracks at Secondary School level may produce different impacts on children choices. Using data from a cross-country survey (PISA 2003), we study the impact of parental education on track choice, showing that the greater flexibility of the Italian system (where parents are free to choose the type of track) translates into greater dependence from parental background. These effects are reinforced when moving to post-secondary education, where the aspiration to go to college is affected not only by the school type but also (in the case of Italy only) by parental education. We then move to country-specific data sets (ISTAT 2001 for Italy and GSOEP 2001 and 2002 for Germany) to study the impact of family background on post-secondary school choices: we find this impact is greatly reduced when we control for secondary school tracks. Overall, we estimate large asymmetries by gender, with women's behavior more independent from family backgrounds than men's behavior.

Keywords: secondary school tracks, education, intergenerational mobility

JEL Classification: I2, J1

Suggested Citation

Checchi, Daniele and Flabbi, Luca, Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks (June 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2876, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=999373

Daniele Checchi (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi di Milano - Dipartimento di Economia Politica e Aziendale (DEPA) ( email )

Milan, 20122
Italy
+39 02 5032 1519 (Phone)
+39 02 5032 1505 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

IRVAPP ( email )

Via Santa Croce 77
Trento, I-38122
Italy

Luca Flabbi

RES - Inter-American Development Bank ( email )

1300 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/lf74/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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