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The Effect of Vocational Education on Short- and Long-Term Outcomes of Students: Evidence from the Arab Education System in Israel

Elad Demalach () and Noam Zussman ()
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Elad Demalach: Bank of Israel
Noam Zussman: Bank of Israel

No 2017.11, Bank of Israel Working Papers from Bank of Israel

Abstract: Abstract This study examines the effect of vocational education on short- and long-term outcomes of students who were in the Arab education system in Israel in the 1990s. In order to overcome possible bias arising from the selection of students into vocational education, the study exploits a reform implemented in the Arab education system that led to the opening of new vocational tracks in localities that either had no vocational studies beforehand or had such studies but only on a small scale (treatment localities). These localities are compared to similar localities in which no new tracks were opened (comparison localities). Difference-in-differences estimates show a 3–5 percentage point decrease in the probability of dropping out of high-school following the opening of the new tracks, which is about 20–35 (10–15) percent of the girls’ (boys’) mean dropout rate. There is also a 4–7 percentage point increase in the share of girls taking matriculation exams. However, the opening of the new tracks did not increase the matriculation eligibility rate of the students, with the rate even decreasing among boys according to several estimates. The opening of the vocational tracks had no significant long-term effect on the likelihood of the students acquiring a tertiary academic education, on being employed, or on their earnings in their adulthood. There was a significant increase in the number of women entering clerical professions, which is consistent with the popularity of the new clerical tracks. There was also a significant decrease in the share of girls marrying at a young age, probably due to the increase in the probability of their completing high school.

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Date: 2017-12
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