'I Wish I Knew ...'– Misperceived Ability, School Track Counseling Services and Performances in Upper Secondary Education

39 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2014

See all articles by Martino Bernardi

Martino Bernardi

Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli

Massimiliano Bratti

Università degli Studi di Milano - DEAS; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Gianfranco De Simone

Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Aziendali e Statistiche

Abstract

Previous research shows that, in tracked school systems, enrollment decisions are strongly associated with future outcomes both in education and on the labour market. Yet few studies explicitly investigate whether students (and their parents) have all the relevant information they need to make proper decisions. We address this issue by exploiting the data collected within the Arianna Project, an independent school track counseling service run by the municipality of a large city in Northern Italy (Turin). Virtually all students in the final year of lower secondary education participate into the program and they receive advices based on standardized cognitive and non-cognitive tests.Our dataset is uniquely enriched by information on students' pre-test enrollment intentions, their final track choices and their performances in the upper secondary school. We show that students' enrollment intentions are very often inconsistent with their actual potential as revealed by Arianna. However, students (and their parents) are likely to revise their initial choice when new information on their true abilities is made available to them. Moreover, we find that students who eventually make track choices in line with Arianna's suggestions are less likely to be retained in the first year of the upper secondary education.

Keywords: ability, information, school track choice, grade retention

JEL Classification: I21, I24

Suggested Citation

Bernardi, Martino and Bratti, Massimiliano and De Simone, Gianfranco, 'I Wish I Knew ...'– Misperceived Ability, School Track Counseling Services and Performances in Upper Secondary Education. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7940, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2396435 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2396435

Martino Bernardi (Contact Author)

Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli ( email )

No Address Available

Massimiliano Bratti

Università degli Studi di Milano - DEAS ( email )

Via Conservatorio, 7
I-20122 Milano
Italy

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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

Gianfranco De Simone

Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Aziendali e Statistiche ( email )

Università degli Studi di Milano
Via del Conservatorio, 7
I-20122 Milano
Italy
+39 02 50321524 (Phone)
+39 02 50321505 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.economia.unimi.it/hp/see_hp.php?login=desimone

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