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Mentoring and Schooling Decisions: Causal Evidence

Armin Falk, Fabian Kosse and Pia Pinger
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Armin Falk: University of Bonn
Fabian Kosse: LMU Munich
Pia Pinger: University of Cologne

No 247, Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series from CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition

Abstract: Inequality of opportunity strikes when two children with the same academic performance are sent to different quality schools because their parents differ in socio economic status. Based on a novel dataset for Germany, we demonstrate that children are significantly less likely to enter the academic track if they come from low socio-economic status (SES) families, even after conditioning on prior measures of school performance. We then provide causal evidence that a low-intensity mentoring program can improve long-run education outcomes of low SES children and reduce inequality of opportunity. Low SES children, who were randomly assigned to a mentor for one year are 20 percent more likely to enter a high track program. The mentoring relationship affects both parents and children and has positive long-term implications for children's educational trajectories.

Keywords: mentoring; childhood intervention programs; education; human capital investments; inequality of opportunity; socio-economic status (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 I24 J24 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-06-21
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