Heterogeneous responses to school track choice: Evidence from the repeal of binding track recommendations

Bach, Maximilian

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URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/61894
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-618942
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2021
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 21-104
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: I24 , I28 , J24 , J62,
Keywords (English): education , school choice , intergenerational mobility , inequality of opportunity , tracking
Abstract: This paper studies heterogeneity in schooling decisions by socio-economic status (SES) in response to a repeal of achievement-based admissions requirements (i.e. binding track recommendations) in Germany's between-school tracking system. The main contribution is to show that while previously ineligible high-SES students are relatively more likely to enroll in the highest (academic) track than comparable low-SES students after the repeal, the SES gap in academic track enrollment does not increase. The reason is that low-SES students, who were already eligible for the academic track before the repeal, increase their probability of enrolling in the academic track. A key mechanism driving low-SES students' response appears to be lower preferences for the intermediate track due to concerns about the inflow of mostly low-achieving and low-SES students from the lowest (basic) track after the repeal.

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