This paper uses a quasi-natural policy experiment in Germany, the G8 reform, to examine the impact of schooling intensity on student learning. The G8 reform compresses secondary school for academic-track students from nine to eight years, while holding fixed the overall academic content and total instruction time required for graduation, resulting in a higher schooling intensity per grade. Using German extension of the PISA data, we find that this reform improves test scores on average, but the effect differs across subgroups of students. The reform effect is larger for girls than for boys, for students with German born parents instead of immigrant parents, and for students having more books at home. The heterogeneous reform effects cannot be explained by changes in observed channels. Instead, quantile regression results suggest that unobserved heterogeneity plays an important role: while high-performing students significantly improve their test scores, the lowestperforming students hardly improve at all after the reform. We interpret the unobserved heterogeneity as reflecting students' capability to cope with the increase in schooling intensity.

The impact of schooling intensity on student learning: Evidence from a quasi-experiment

Vincenzo Andrietti
2019

Abstract

This paper uses a quasi-natural policy experiment in Germany, the G8 reform, to examine the impact of schooling intensity on student learning. The G8 reform compresses secondary school for academic-track students from nine to eight years, while holding fixed the overall academic content and total instruction time required for graduation, resulting in a higher schooling intensity per grade. Using German extension of the PISA data, we find that this reform improves test scores on average, but the effect differs across subgroups of students. The reform effect is larger for girls than for boys, for students with German born parents instead of immigrant parents, and for students having more books at home. The heterogeneous reform effects cannot be explained by changes in observed channels. Instead, quantile regression results suggest that unobserved heterogeneity plays an important role: while high-performing students significantly improve their test scores, the lowestperforming students hardly improve at all after the reform. We interpret the unobserved heterogeneity as reflecting students' capability to cope with the increase in schooling intensity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/698944
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