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The information value of central school exams

Guido Schwerdt () and Ludger Woessmann ()

Economics of Education Review, 2017, vol. 56, issue C, 65-79

Abstract: The central vs. local nature of high-school exit exam systems can have important repercussions on the labor market. By increasing the informational content of grades, central exams may improve the sorting of students by productivity. To test this, we exploit the unique German setting where students from states with and without central exams work on the same labor market. Our difference-in-difference model estimates whether the earnings difference between individuals with high and low grades differs between central and local exams. We find that the earnings premium for a one standard-deviation increase in high-school grades is indeed 6% when obtained on central exams but less than 2% when obtained on local exams. Choices of higher-education programs and of occupations do not appear major channels of this result.

Keywords: Central exit exams; Labor-market sorting; Earnings; Measurement error; Difference-in-difference; Germany (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Related works:
Working Paper: The information value of central school exams (2017)
Working Paper: The Information Value of Central School Exams (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The Information Value of Central School Exams (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: The Information Value of Central School Exams (2015) Downloads
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