LIFETRACK Publications

Compensatory and multiplicative advantages: Social origin, school performance, and stratified higher education enrolment in Finland

This research finds that even in Finland, enrolling in higher education depends on students’ school performance and their parents’ education. The study uses register data from Finland, where students take entrance exams for higher education and where the education system involves both universities and polytechnics, to look at how social origin and school performance is … Read more

Sources of change in the primary and secondary effects of social class origin on educational decisions: evidence from Denmark, 2002–2016

Authors: Jesper Fels Birkelund,
Issue: 2020
Themes: ,

It is well-known that pupils from poorer backgrounds are more likely than their peers to take vocational rather than academic routes in upper secondary school – but what drives this? Does social class status itself lead to these decisions, or is there a mediating factor at play: that pupils from less well-off homes tend to … Read more

Family Background, Educational Qualifications and Meritocratic Labor Market Allocation: Evidence from Danish Siblings

This paper looks at how education and family background shapes the occupation and earnings of a generation of Danes, and concludes that education plays a powerful role in explaining why children from advantaged backgrounds have higher earnings than chil-dren from disadvantaged backgrounds. The researchers studied all children born in Denmark between 1965 and 1971 and … Read more

Aiming High and Missing the Mark? Educational Choice, Dropout Risk, and Achievement in Upper Secondary Education among Children of Immigrants in Denmark

This paper finds that high aspiration among young people from ethnic minority backgrounds can be a double-edged sword: it helps close the gap between these young people and their native-origin peers, but at the cost of higher drop-out rates. The research looks at the choices made by Danish youngsters at the age of 16, when … Read more

Tracking in the Italian Education System

In this report, we provide an overview of tracking, that is the choice of the type of secondary school, in Italy. First, we describe the structure of the Italian education system and its main reforms. We detail broad and curricular tracking both between and within schools. We focus on upper secondary school, since in Italy … Read more

Tracking and Sorting in the German Educational System. Literature review and analyses of the birth cohorts 1970-1980

This report reviews the key modes of creating social dispersion in the German educational system by sorting students into distinct groups based on performance or choice. It describes the basic structure of the German educational system and the specific modes of sorting at the different stages of education from early childhood education and care until … Read more

Tracking and Sorting in the French Educational System

This paper provides an overview of tracking policies in secondary education in France. Drawing on two large datasets on educational trajectories and labour-market outcomes, it identifies patterns of social inequalities associated with track allocation in secondary education. It assesses the long-term consequences of track assignment and its mediating role in the association between social origin … Read more

Tracking and sorting in the Finnish educational system

This report gives a brief overview of educational tracking and sorting in the Finnish educational system. In Finland, students are divided into different tracks relatively late even though between and within-school tracking exists at all educational levels in some forms. In this report, we present descriptive empirical analyses of long-term consequences of educational tracking by … Read more

Educational tracking and sorting in England

This report provides an overview and brief literature review of the English education system and the relevant educational reforms in relation to educational tracking and sorting. We employ the term ‘tracking’ when referring to formal educational differentiation, while ‘sorting’ refers to informal educational differentiation. The main objective is to provide a descriptive empirical analysis that … Read more

The Structure, Causes, and Consequences of Tracking in the Danish Education System

This report provides an overview over the institutional configuration of the Danish educational system and its development over time with a focus on inequalities in educational attainment. We draw on population data from Danish administrative registers and we describe the development of educational attainment including track choices and field of study specializations for individuals born … Read more