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Who Dares, Wins?: A Sibling Analysis of Tertiary Education Transition in Germany

Tamás Keller and Guido Neidhöfer ()

No 713, SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research from DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP)

Abstract: Past studies have found that parental background has a considerable impact on educational decisions. Our knowledge is, however, still limited regarding educational transitions later in life, such as into tertiary education. Is parental background a predominant factor in this relatively late educational decision, or do individual talent and determination have an impact of their own? We address this question by decomposing the probability of success – regarded by rational choice models in sociology as a major component in the explanation of educational choices – as a function of observable and unobservable characteristics, using school grades and subjective perceptions about future educational success. Tocontrol for the overall effect of family background, a sibling analysis is performed. The data is derived from the German Socioeconomic Panel (SOEP), where we can follow those pupils who participated in the survey at the age of 17 later in life. Our results are twofold. Parental background (through school grades) exerts a strong influence at the time of transition to university; however, subjective perceptions also have an effect that is independent of parental background.

Keywords: Tertiary education transition; sibling analysis; subjective perceptions; rational choice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 I24 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 35 p.
Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

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