Inequality of educational opportunities and the role of learning intensity : evidence from a quasi-experiment in Germany

Camarero Garcia, Sebastian

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-456979
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2018
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 18-021
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences - CDSE (Economics)
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: D04 , D63 , H75 , I21 , I24 , I28 , J18 , J24 , J62 , O52,
Keywords (English): Germany , (in)equality of opportunity , educational/learning intensity , shortening school duration , G-8 education reform , education & social mobility
Abstract: Over the 2000s, many federal states in Germany shortened the duration of secondary school by one year while keeping the curriculum unchanged. Exploiting quasi-experimental variation due to the staggered introduction of this reform allows me to identify the causal effect of increased learning intensity on Inequality of Educational Opportunity (IEOp), the share in educational outcome variance explained by predetermined circumstances beyond a student’s control. The reform-induced increase in learning intensity had no short-term effect on IEOp. In the medium term, however, IEOp increased as differences in parental resources gained importance through support opportunities like private tuition adapting to the intensified educational process. The effect is stronger for mathematics/science than for reading, implying the existence of subject-dependent curricular flexibilities. My findings point to the importance of accounting for distributional consequences when evaluating reforms aimed at increasing the efficiency of educational systems and to the role of learning intensity for explaining changes in educational opportunities influencing social mobility.

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ORCID: Camarero Garcia, Sebastian ORCID: 0000-0002-0315-5943

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