The Effects of Increasing the Standards of the High School Curriculum on School Dropout

27 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2015


This paper evaluates the effects of a high school curriculum reform that was introduced in one German state on high school dropout. The reform increased the standards of the curriculum by reducing the freedom of choice in course selection (amongst other things) resulting in an increase in the level and the weekly teaching hours in the subjects German, a foreign language, mathematics and natural sciences. Using a quasi-experimental evaluation design exploiting variation across time and states, we identify the reform effect on students' probability to graduate from high school. The results show that high school dropout rates have increased for males and females alike. However, the effect for males vanishes two years after reform implementation, while it remains persistent for females even after three years.

Keywords: high school curriculum reform, high school dropout, school performance

JEL Classification: D04, I21, I28

Suggested Citation

Goerlitz, Katja and Gravert, Christina Annette, The Effects of Increasing the Standards of the High School Curriculum on School Dropout. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8766, Available at SSRN:

Katja Goerlitz (Contact Author)

FU Berlin ( email )

Boltzmannstrasse 20
D-14195 Berlin, 14195

Christina Annette Gravert

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, DK-1165

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