What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong: Birthday Effects and Early Tracking in the German School System

25 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2009

See all articles by Hendrik Jürges

Hendrik Jürges

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA); German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Kerstin Schneider

University of Dortmund; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

At the age of ten German pupils are given a secondary school track recommendation which largely determines the actual track choice. Track choice has major effects on the life course, mainly through labor market outcomes. Using data from the German PISA extension study, we analyze the effect of month of birth and thus relative age on such recommendations. We find that younger pupils are less often recommended to and actually attend Gymnasium, the most attractive track in terms of later life outcomes. Flexible enrolment and grade retention partly offset these inequalities and the relative age effect dissipates as students age.

Keywords: Educational tracking, month of birth effects

JEL Classification: I21, I28

Suggested Citation

Jürges, Hendrik and Schneider, Kerstin, What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong: Birthday Effects and Early Tracking in the German School System (June 2007). MEA Discussion Paper No. 138-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1445364 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1445364

Hendrik Jürges (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Kerstin Schneider

University of Dortmund ( email )

D-44221 Dortmund
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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