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

Natalie Obergruber () and Larissa Zierow ()
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Natalie Obergruber: Ifo Institute for Economic Research

No 11732, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 I24 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur and nep-ure
Date: 2018-08
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