LIFETRACK Publications

Diversion or inclusion? Alternative routes to higher education eligibility and inequality in educational attainment in Germany

Authors: Steffen Schindler, Felix Bittmann,
Issue: 2022
Themes: ,

In the 1960s, educational reforms have been initiated in Germany to make the rigid stratified school system more permeable. While maintaining between-school tracking in secondary education, several second-chance options have been introduced that established alternative routes to higher education. This study aims to evaluate whether these alternative routes were successful in reducing the levels of … Read more

Analysing Diversion Processes in German Secondary Education: School-Track Effects on Educational Aspirations

Authors: Felix Bittmann, Steffen Schindler,
Issue: 2022
Themes: ,

Educational aspirations can be regarded as a predictor of final educational attainment, rendering this construct highly relevant for analysing the development of educational inequalities in panel data settings. In the context of the German tracked secondary school system, we analysed school-track effects on the development of educational aspirations. Using data from five consecutive waves of the … Read more

Relative risk aversion models: How plausible are their assumptions?

This work examines the validity of the two main assumptions of relative risk-aversion models of educational inequality. We compare the Breen-Goldthorpe (BG) and the Breen-Yaish (BY) models in terms of their assumptions about status maintenance motives and beliefs about the occupational risks associated with educational decisions. Concerning the first assumption, our contribution is threefold. First, … Read more

Is vocational education a safety net? The occupational attainment of upper secondary graduates from vocational and academic tracks in Italy

Authors: Carlo Barone, Moris Triventi,
Issue: 2022
Themes: ,

This article assesses the employment and occupational outcomes of upper secondary education graduates from academic and vocational tracks in Italy. In particular, we formulate and test the hypothesis that – contrary to some common expectations – academic graduates outperform vocational graduates at a stage of occupational maturity, even when considering individuals without a tertiary degree. Moreover, we … Read more

Gender segregation in higher education: an empirical test of seven explanations

Gender segregation in higher education (GSHE) is recognized as a key factor to explain the persistence of gender inequalities in the labor market despite the reversal of gender gap in educational attainment. Women are systematically overrepresented in fields of study, such as social sciences and the humanities, which offer relatively poor labor market prospects; at … Read more

The stratification of education systems and social background inequality of educational opportunity

Authors: Claudia Traini,
Issue: 2021
Themes: ,

This study asks two questions about the relationship between academic selection and social inequality: does increasing selection lead to a deeper social divide in education? And does postponing the age at which academic selection takes place help mitigate that inequality? The research uses data from the European Social Survey. It focuses on individuals born between … Read more

How does exposure to a different school track influence learning progress? Explaining scissor effects by track in Germany

Authors: Claudia Traini, Corinna Kleinert, Felix Bittmann,
Issue: 2021

The researchers in this study use the German National Educational Panel Study to compare data on the reading and mathematics scores of almost 1600 pupils in the upper and intermediate school tracks between 2010 and 2015. Even after controlling for differences in students’ backgrounds and prior attainment, they find that those on the upper track … Read more

The effect of COVID-19-related school closures on students’ well-being: Evidence from Danish nationwide panel data

New research from Denmark suggests that in some respects students’ wellbeing improved during the Spring 2020 lockdown, and that this effect was strongest among students of lower socioeconomic status. The study used data from the Danish Student Wellbeing Study, which is carried out nationwide on an annual basis. It compared responses from students aged 12-15 … Read more

Educational differentiation in secondary education and labour-market outcomes

Authors: Steffen Schindler,
Issue: 2021
Themes: , ,

Countries differ in the way in which they organise their education systems. With this special issue, we want to pay particular attention to the period of secondary education, the different institutional approaches that countries pursue during that phase and the long-term consequences for individual labour-market outcomes that follow from it. Secondary education is probably the … Read more

Lives on track? Long‐term earnings returns to selective school placement in England and Denmark

This paper looks how selective schooling affected the lifetime earnings of people born in the 1950s, and finds it did little to improve earnings or to increase social mobility in England. The researchers used data from the National Child Development Study on 15,000 people  born in England and Wales in a single week in March … Read more