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Life-cycle educational choices in a system with early tracking and ‘second chance’ options

Martin Biewen and Madalina Tapalaga

Economics of Education Review, 2017, vol. 56, issue C, 80-94

Abstract: We study life-cycle educational transitions in the German education system which is characterized by early tracking and institutionalized branches of academic and vocational training, but with the possibility to revise earlier decisions at later stages. Our econometric model covers all major transitions ranging from primary education through secondary schooling to different forms of tertiary education and vocational training. We consider the role of previous decisions and background characteristics at each decision node and also study ‘indirect’ routes through the system. Our results suggest that a considerable proportion of the population takes ‘second chance’ decisions but that these decisions are as socially selective as the standard routes through the system. We also model unobserved heterogeneity and document the sorting of individuals along unobserved characteristics across the stages of the system.

Keywords: Tracking; Intergenerational mobility; Vocational training; Non-standard transitions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I2 C5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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