Students' Behavioural Responses to a Fallback Option: Evidence from Introducing Interim Degrees in German Schools

44 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2018

See all articles by Natalie Obergruber

Natalie Obergruber

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - ifo Center for the Economics of Education

Larissa Zierow

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Abstract

Without a school degree, students can have difficulty in the labor market. To improve the lives of upper-secondary school dropouts, German states instituted a school reform that awarded an interim degree to high-track students upon completion of Grade 9. Using retrospective spell data on school and labor market careers from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), our difference-in-differences approach exploits the staggered implementation of this reform between 1965 and 1982. As intended, the reform reduced switching between school tracks. Surprisingly, it also increased successful high-track completion, university entrance rates, and later income, arguably by reducing the perceived risk of trying longer in the high-track school.

Keywords: school dropout, school degree, school tracking

JEL Classification: I20, I24, I28

Suggested Citation

Obergruber, Natalie and Zierow, Larissa, Students' Behavioural Responses to a Fallback Option: Evidence from Introducing Interim Degrees in German Schools. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11732, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3238557

Natalie Obergruber (Contact Author)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - ifo Center for the Economics of Education ( email )

Munich
Germany

Larissa Zierow

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

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