The Effects of Free Secondary School Track Choice: A Disaggregated Synthetic Control Approach

59 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2021

See all articles by Aderonke Osikominu

Aderonke Osikominu

University of Hohenheim

Gregor Pfeifer

The University of Sydney

Kristina Strohmaier

University of Tuebingen

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Abstract

We exploit a recent state-level reform in Germany that granted parents the right to decide on the highest secondary school track suitable for their child, changing the purpose of the primary teacher's recommendation from mandatory to informational. Applying a disaggre-gated synthetic control approach to administrative district-level data, we find that transition rates to the higher school tracks increased substantially, with stronger responses among children from richer districts. Simultaneously, grade repetition in the first grades of second-ary school increased dramatically, suggesting that parents choose school tracks also to align with their own aspirations – resulting in greater misallocation of students.

JEL Classification: C21, C46, I21, I28, J24

Suggested Citation

Osikominu, Aderonke and Pfeifer, Gregor and Strohmaier, Kristina, The Effects of Free Secondary School Track Choice: A Disaggregated Synthetic Control Approach. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14033, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3767270 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3767270

Aderonke Osikominu (Contact Author)

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Stuttgart
Germany

Gregor Pfeifer

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Kristina Strohmaier

University of Tuebingen ( email )

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